Saturday, April 1, 2023

Post-storm New Hanover update: Debris, burn ban, resources, safety [Free]

Unlike Hurricane Florence which took out plenty of trees around the region, Hurricane Dorian will not require any additional debris pickup by local governments (Port City Daily/Ben Schachtman)
Officials plan for storm debris to be removed in the unincorporated county next week. (Port City Daily/Ben Schachtman)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — As Isaias moves north away from Wilmington, the region moves from preparation to recovery mode, assessing debris and other post-storm efforts.

New Hanover County intends to open all public offices for regular business hours on Wednesday, pending any lingering power outages.

Debris pick-up

New Hanover County is currently assessing damage around the unincorporated areas. The county is working with its debris contractor and expects to begin the collection of storm debris next week.

“Residents can begin stacking vegetative debris, such as branches and vines, within five feet of the curb, away from the street, drainage ditches, and three feet away from fire hydrants, street signs, mailboxes, and parked cars,” according to the county.

Prior to debris pickup, there will be a burn ban in the unincorporated parts of New Hanover County (note, outdoor burning is always banned in Wilmington city limits). The ban will remain in effect while storm debris removal takes place, and can be viewed here.

Household waste or construction debris will not be picked up, according to the county, but can be brought to the New Hanover County Landfill (5210 U.S. Highway 421 North) during regular hours beginning Wednesday.

The City of Wilmington will activate its debris removal contract, according to an announcement Tuesday afternoon. Trucks are expected to arrive in the city later in the week to be weighed and certified this weekend; debris removal operations will begin Monday, August 10.

“For removal operations, the city will be divided into six zones, with two trucks deployed in each zone,” according to city spokesman Jerod Patterson. “Trucks may make two passes and additional trucks may be brought in depending on the demand for debris removal. Prior to removal operations, a map and instructions will be published to the city website and social media platforms.”

Beach towns will also manage their own storm debris removal.

Carolina Beach

Vegetative storm debris may include a combination of bundles and/or bags meeting the following criteria:

  • Please have debris placed by the right of way by 7:00 a.m. on Monday, August 10th. There is no need to call in to schedule a pick-up.
  • Bundles shall consist of limbs and shrubs no longer than four feet in length.
  • Only paper bags shall be utilized.
  • Bundles and bags shall be 50 pounds or less each. Storm debris DOES NOT include land clearing, trimmings, prunings, or any other activity not associated with Isaiah. Please DO NOT place any debris on utilities such as meter boxes, cable boxes, manholes, etc.

Wrightsville Beach

The Town of Wrightsville Beach will be picking up vegetative debris ONLY following Hurricane Isaias starting August 4, 2020 and ending August 14, 2020. Normal debris removal fees will apply for debris placed on the curb after August 14, 2020. This debris removal will be completed by the Town in addition to other storm clean-up and normal duties so we ask for your patience.

Vegetative Debris should be placed by the curb as follows:

  • Only vegetative yard debris that is associated with the hurricane will be removed.
  • Do not cover meters, storm drains, clean-out valves or block fire hydrants.
  • All debris must be at the curb and not in the street.
  • All limbs must be less than 6 inches in diameter and cut in sections no longer than 6 feet in length.
  • All leaves and other loose debris should be bagged in a paper yard waste bag or piled on a tarp or blanket.
  • No other waste should be comingled with the vegetative debris.


The Emergency Public Information Hotline (910-798-6800) is currently operational and assisting residents with questions. The hotline will close on Tuesday, August 4 at 7 p.m. It will be available again beginning on Wednesday, August 5 at 8 a.m. primarily as a COVID-19 call center, but will still be able to assist residents needing access to storm-related resources.

New Hanover County is partnering with the New Hanover Disaster Coalition, Cape Fear Food Council, Crisis Cleanup, and other community partners to ensure residents receive assistance with storm-related needs. More information will be available and shared with the community and posted on soon.

Safety tips

Below are several safety reminders we encourage the community to be aware of:

  • If you have to be on the road, treat all non-working traffic signals as a four-way stop.
  • Use caution around low-hanging power lines.
  • Do not drive around any road barricades – they are up for your safety.
  • As you start to clean up from the storm, wear protective clothing and gear for debris clean up.
  • Take precaution when using a chainsaw by wearing appropriate protective gear, making sure bystanders are a safe distance away and following manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Avoid contact with power lines and take extra care in cutting trees or branches that are bent or caught under something else.
  • Don’t walk through standing flood waters. Keep in mind that floodwater often carries germs and other dangerous debris.
  • If your power is out, do not use a generator inside your home or garage, even if doors and windows are open. Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows. And use flashlights instead of candles to reduce the risk for fire hazards.
  • Refrigerated or frozen foods may not be safe to eat after the loss of power. Find out what you can do to keep food safe during a power outage, and when you need to throw away food that could make you sick here.

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