Brunswick County under voluntary evacuation, shelters now open is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Oak Island summer 2016. File photo.
Oak Island summer 2016. File photo.

BRUNSWICK COUNTY — Shelters are now open and a voluntary evacuation has been issued for all residents in Brunswick County due to Hurricane Matthew, officials announced on Friday.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service say life-threatening flash flooding is possible due to conditions of Hurricane Matthew. The county is under a Hurricane Warning and a Flash Flood Watch. While rainfall is expected to hit the region by Friday night, a significant amount of rainfall is expected to hit the area Saturday.

The voluntary evacuation is for unincorporated low-lying and flood-prone areas of Brunswick County. Similar evacuations also been issued for Boiling Spring Lakes, Bald Head Island, Caswell Beach, Oak Island, Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset Beach, Calabash, Carolina Shores, Shallotte, Southport, and St. James.

Those evacuating are encouraged to do so Friday, before road conditions worsen. Those who need to evacuate and do not have transportation to the shelter can call 910-253-5383.

Shelters opened Friday morning at the following locations:

West Brunswick High School, 550 Whiteville Road in Shallotte

North Brunswick High School, 114 Scorpion Drive in Leland

South Brunswick High School, 100 Cougar Road in Boiling Spring Lakes

Dogs and cats are accepted at the West Brunswick High School shelter, but not the North Brunswick High School or South Brunswick High School shelters. Owners must stay at the shelter as well, and should bring documentation of rabies vaccines, food, any medicines, and any other items necessary for your pets.

Residents who are evacuating may also take pets to the Brunswick County Animal Shelter. Animals must be reclaimed within three days of the state of emergency

Residents evacuating to a shelter should bring identification, any needed medications, any needed items like glasses or diapers, clothing for 3-7 days, pillows, toiletries, chargers for cell phones, and books, games or cards. Residents should bring sheets or bedding, and cots and air mattresses if available. Alcohol, illegal substances, and weapons are not permitted. Those evacuating can find a map of shelters in on the county website.