Saturday, July 20, 2024

New Hanover County declares state of emergency, considers mandatory evacuation

The announcement came as Hurricane Florence has become a Category 3 storm; the storm is expected to continue intensifying before landfall.

Video: North Carolina National Guard troops have been activated as New Hanover County declares a state of emergency.

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — There is now officially a state of emergency in New Hanover County as Hurricane Florence approaches.

Emergency Management Director Steven Still said tropical-storm-force winds were expected Wednesday. Schools will close on Tuesday, and remain closed through Friday. Governor Roy Cooper has activated 200 National Guardsmen, with up to 1,000 more available.

Board of Commissioner Chairman Woody White said the county was still considering whether or not to issue mandatory evacuation notices.

Still said it been “quite some time” since a storm of Florence’s magnitude had approached Southeastern North Carolina.

County commissioners, emergency management staff, and other county officials made the announcement this morning. The meeting, initially planned as a closed briefing, was opened to the public about an hour before it was held. The county asked that there be no cameras or recording at the “pen and pad listening session.”

Hurricane Florence is currently a Category 3 storm, and is expected to continue to intensify as it approaches the coast. Landfall is expected on Thursday.

You can find our latest coverage update here. New updates, including closures, evacuations, and other information can be found at Port City Daily’s homepage.

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