Tuesday, March 21, 2023

As Dorian moves up Carolina coast, barrier islands begin lifting evacuation orders and bridges reopen

The Cape Fear Memorial Bridge (Port City Daily/Michael Praats)
The Cape Fear Memorial Bridge (Port City Daily/Michael Praats)

SOUTHEAST N.C. — Hurricane Dorian has only just passed us by in the Cape Fear Region and already some of the region’s barrier islands that were evacuated due to the storm are reopening.

Mandatory evacuations, as well as curfews, were put into effect across the region and while some remain in place for the time being, others are being lifted as municipal staff assesses the damages on these islands.

At this time it appears that the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, as well as the Isabelle Holmes Bridge, is open.

Port City Daily will update this article with more information as it becomes available.

New Hanover County

The Town of Carolina Beach has opened Snow’s Cut Bridge as of 9 a.m. Friday and it is open to the public, the curfew has also been rescinded.

The Town of Kure Beach has also been opened to the public and the curfew has been rescinded, it will be re-explored if power is not restored by the evening.

The Town of Wrightsville Beach has opened at 9 a.m. for residents and 11 a.m. for non-residents.

Brunswick County

The Town of Oak Island is open for residents to return as of 6:30 a.m. on Friday.

According to a statement from the town, “The curfew is lifted and the bridges are open. There are some power outages. The phone system at Town Hall is down, Town Hall will open at noon. Use caution when driving and watch for standing water and debris.”

The Town of Ocean Isle Beach issued the following statement, “Preliminary assessment of the Island shows very minimal damage and some isolated areas of flooding. We hope to be able to reopen the island to property and business owners as soon as utilities are restored.”

Pender County

The Town of Surf City is again open on the island side; key cards are not required. Beach accesses are being individually checked and open if safe.

Neighboring North Topsail Beach however has.

“This morning, town officials are meeting with emergency personnel to make decisions about reentry. The wind gusts are still strong. We need to safely travel across the bridge and do an initial assessment before residents & property owners can return. We also must wait for the state’s decision regarding the mandatory evacuation issued for our island. More information will be provided as soon as possible,” according to the town’s Facebook Post (Note: North Topsail Beach is not in Pender County but adjacent to Surf City on the same island).

To the south, Topsail Beach said, “Hurricane Dorian moved through our area overnight. Although the eye is north of Topsail Beach, we are still experiencing the rain and wind bands from the backside. Town Staff will head on to the Island do to a preliminary assessment as soon as it is safe to do so. We will update you when we have more information.”


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