UPDATE: Wilmington joins New Hanover, Brunswick counties declare states of emergency

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Residents in Carolina Beach standing on the peer. Photo by Hanna Leava.
Kure Beach residents watch the ocean from a town pier. Photo by Hannah Leyva.

UPDATED: Friday, 9:30 p.m.

Brunswick County is opening a shelter at West Brunswick High School after receiving reports of significant flooding in the Carolina Shores area. The shelter will allow pets.

Crews are in the Carolina Shores area working to check neighborhoods and evacuate residents as needed.

Residents whose homes are taking in water should monitor how close the water level is to outlets and other things that could become an electrical hazard. If residents need to evacuate and can do so safely, the shelter at West Brunswick High School will be open. If residents cannot safely evacuate and need assistance, they can call 911.

Residents who do evacuate should take caution driving to the shelter, as the lack of light can make it harder to see water on the roads.

West Brunswick High School is located at 550 Whiteville Road NW in Shallotte.

UPDATED: Friday, 5:30 p.m.

The City of Wilmington joins New Hanover County in declaring a state of emergency effective at 6 p.m. this evening. According to city officials, the decision was made in an abundance of caution due to anticipated heavy rains and the possibility that the dangerous hurricane could travel further west than expected.

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New Hanover and Brunswick counties have declared states of emergency set to take effect Friday evening.

A state of emergency has been declared for New Hanover County and all municipalities effective Friday at 6 p.m. in advance of torrential rainfall with the potential of life-threatening flooding, according to New Hanover County Spokesman Charles Smith.  County government office remain open Friday. New Hanover County parks, libraries and the Cape Fear Museum are closed.

The proclamation comes one day after Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency for all of North Carolina’s 100 counties.

Kure Beach has declared its state of emergency Friday afternoon, which will also take effect at 6 p.m., according to town officials. No evacuations have been planned for Kure Beach.

Town officials with Carolina Beach declared a state of emergency effective midnight Friday. In their meeting on Friday afternoon, officials said the town had people working overnight and incurred expenses, leading to them to adopt a different time than the county and other municipalities.

No evacuations or other restrictions have been called for Carolina Beach at this time. The Snow’s Cut Bridge remains open. Town officials do not anticipate any closures for the bridge during the inclement weather.

According to Wrightsville Beach Town Manager Tim Owens, it is the town’s intent to declare a proclamation of its own to follow suit with New Hanover County.

Read related story: Beach towns taking ‘wait and see’ approach for Joaquin

“Property owners should ensure drainage ditches are clear to help prevent flooding problems.  Residents and visitors are encouraged review their personal preparedness plans and remain alert in case evacuation becomes necessary,” Smith said.

In Brunswick County, a state of emergency has also been declared due to deteriorating weather conditions. A state of emergency will take effect for the county at 6 p.m. Friday, according to Amanda Hutcheson, spokeswoman for Brunswick County.

All Brunswick County offices and courthouse sessions will close at 3 p.m., while county libraries will remain closed on Saturday, Hutcheson said. Brunswick County Schools have made the decision to close early along with other area schools.

Flooding remains a concern for county residents throughout the weekend, Hutchesion said. County officials advise residents not to drive through flooded roads. For more information about flood conditions visit the Brunswick County government website.

Check back for more updates to this story as they become available.