PENDER COUNTY – The Pender County Office of Emergency Management has rescinded its mandatory evacuation order for the Black River Basin issued Oct. 11. However, homeowners are advised to use caution when returning home.
Tom Collins, Pender County emergency manager, said through a press release that the mandatory evacuation order is being lifted for homes and businesses that are accessible. However, not every road in the county is yet able to be reached, he noted.
“There are homes and roads that are currently not assessable,” Collins said. “We are lifting the mandatory evacuation for property owners who can reach their homes and businesses.”
Collins urged Pender County residents to use “extreme caution” when re-entering areas that had been flooded.
“The water is contaminated, so please do not use the water to clean,” he said.
Well water may also be contaminated. Collins said no one should be drinking well water until it has been decontaminated.
“After the well has been decontaminated, the Pender County Health Department, Environmental Department, will test the water for drinking,” he said. “Don’t drink the water until it has passed testing.”
Collins also reminded residents to not use electric chainsaws around standing water. People returning home should also be aware of bees, fire ants, snakes and alligators that may have been relocated due to flood waters.
People returning to areas that have been flooded are also advised to use bug repellent with DEET.