Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Surf City declares state of emergency as Pender County urges preparation for Hurricane Dorian [Free read]

A satellite image of Hurricane Dorian over Grand Bahama Island captured on Monday, September 1. (Photo Courtesy NOAA)
A satellite image of Hurricane Dorian over Grand Bahama Island captured on Monday, September 2. (Photo Courtesy NOAA)

SURF CITY — The Town of Surf City has declared a State of Emergency as Hurricane Dorian, stalled over the Bahamas Monday morning, is currently projected to make a slow west-northwestern turn along the east coast of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas later this week.

As of 11 a.m. Monday morning, the earliest reasonable arrival time of tropical-storm-force winds are expected on North Carolina’s southeastern coast by Wednesday at 8 p.m., according to the NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.

Surf City Mayor Doug Medlin declared a State of Emergency effective 1 p.m. Sunday, September 1, although there is no evacuation ordered at this time. An Emergency Management meeting was scheduled for Monday morning to discuss the town’s emergency action plan and receive updates from the National Weather Service.

“This simply means we are able to prepare and be in position for FEMA assistance,” the town said in a release Monday morning.

The town’s Emergency Management team is currently preparing the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) to be activated today as the town’s leaders continue to monitor the hurricane around the clock. Public beach access signs and trash cans will be removed beginning Monday, and if the storm continues its projected path towards Topsail Island, the town will begin closing public accesses on Tuesday. Town utilities are being prepared for a shutdown if necessary.

This storm system remains a dangerous Category 5 hurricane at this moment and the cone of error is still taking the eye 10-30 miles off our coast as a Category 2 storm on Thursday if nothing changes,” according to the release. “Please keep in mind that with this system approaching the surf conditions are extremely dangerous and we encourage you to use precaution when out on the beach. Tides are higher than normal, and some beach accesses could have drop-offs on the beachside.”

Topsail Beach also declared a State of Emergency effective September 1 at noon, which also does not currently a call for a voluntary or mandatory evacuation.

All residents of Surf City are urged to sign up for the Surf City CodeRED Emergency Alert System, available on the town website’s “Email and Phone Alerts” menu button on the left menu bar. Pender County residents can also sign up for CodeRED available on the county website’s Emergency Notification System page.

Possible bridge closure, re-entry cards, supplies

Based on coastal bridge guidelines, emergency personnel may need to shut down the Surf City Bridge to vehicle access if sustained winds reach 45 mph, according to the release.

All previously issued key cards to gain access to the island in the event of an evacuation are still valid and are non-transferable. Residents without key cards can still gain access with a valid ID and a utility or tax bill and/or a deed. Key cards will be available at the Community Center, located at 201 Community Center Drive, on Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will also be available Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. when the Town Hall opens for normal operations.

On Sunday, Councilman Jeremy Shugarts said the manager at Surf City Lowes Home Improvement informed him the store had received a truck load of generators. He also said there was a load of water and plywood in transit available for purchase.

Although the hurricane could shift its path, the town is encouraging residents to have at least seven days of food, water, medications, cash, fuel, and other necessities on hand, and to secure items on their properties.

“It is better to be over-prepared for nothing than unprepared for a major weather event,” the release stated.

The earliest reasonable arrival time of tropical-storm-force winds are expected on North Carolina's southeastern coast by Wednesday at 8 p.m. (Photo courtesy NOAA)
The earliest reasonable arrival time of tropical-storm-force winds are expected on North Carolina’s southeastern coast by Wednesday at 8 p.m. (Photo courtesy NOAA)

The regular Tuesday trash pick-up is still on schedule, with the mainland trash-pick-up on Tuesday as well, according to a Facebook post Monday.

“Please get your cans rolled for pick-up on Tuesday. There will be no pick-up on Wednesday. Please roll cans and secure them as soon as they are empty to keep them from blowing around,” according to the post.

Pender County urges preparedness

On Saturday, the Pender County Office of Emergency Management (EOC) urged residents to prepare for possible impacts from Hurricane Dorian.

“This is the time to prepare,” Pender County Emergency Manager Tom Collins said. “We could possibly experience high winds, rainfall, storm surge, and flooding by Thursday.”

He said the EOC will continue to prepare for a weather event, regardless of how Hurricane Dorian tracks in the next few days.

“If you don’t have a hurricane emergency kit, you have time to assemble a kit,” said Collins. “Have batteries, plenty of drinking water, non-perishable foods, medications, cash, a full tank of fuel in your vehicles, and propane in stock.”

Updates will be posted on the EOC’s Facebook page and on the county’s website. Those who need assistance are urged to call the EM office at (910) 259-1210.

Important updates

To stay up to date on the storm in the following days, residents of Surf City, Topsail Beach, and Pender County are encouraged to use the following links:


 

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