Wilmington joins other communities in issuing state of emergency as Hurricane Matthew threatens region

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WILMINGTON — Wilmington has joined other local municipalities in declaring a state of emergency  in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew. The declaration took effect at noon Thursday.

“This is a precautionary measure so that the city can proceed with any protective measures that may be needed,” a release from the city states.

According to Deputy City Manager Tony Caudle, who oversees emergency operations for the city, the biggest concerns for Wilmington are flooding issues and post-storm debris removal.

City crews on Thursday continued preparing for the storm, checking for clogged storm drains in problem areas and placing barricades at streets prone to flooding. In addition, water levels in Randall pond and Greenfield Lake were lowered and the city is positioning equipment and crews to respond as needed this weekend.

Bulky item pickups scheduled for Friday have been postponed until Wednesday, Oct. 12. Trash/recycling/yard waste pick-up is running on schedule Friday, but the city asks residents to secure carts today, as soon as possible after pick-up.

Also, tonight’s information session at the MLK Center about the 2016 Parks Bond referendum has been rescheduled for Oct. 20. The session will be an informal drop in held between 5-6:30 p.m. at the MLK Center, located at 401 S. 8th Street.

The city offered the following tips to mitigate potential storm impacts:

Store or secure your roll-away trash and recycling carts. In heavy winds, these items could become projectiles and cause damage or injury;

And, clear any debris in your yard to prevent it from blocking storm drains.

Residents are asked not to call 911 to report downed trees, power lines or flooding. Instead, use these numbers:

Downed power lines and power outages: Call Duke Energy Progress at 800-419-6356.  You can track Duke Energy power outages via this map.

Downed trees or limbs blocking city roadways: Call 341-7852 (leave a message if no one answers).

Flooding or storwwater issues within city limits:  Call 341-4646 (leave a message if no one answers).

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