SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — The National Weather Service has issued a warning for regions on the coast of North Carolina due to tropical storm-force winds expected within the next 24 hours.
It’s due to possible Tropical Cyclone 16 approaching the tri-county area this weekend; the NWS issued an advisory earlier Thursday. If it strengthens into a subtropical or tropical storm, it will be named Ophelia.
Beginning Friday night, gusts up to 30 or 40 miles per hour are expected on the coast, with inland areas experiencing 15 to 25 mph winds. There is potential for isolated tornado warnings.
Rainfall, expected 2 to 4 inches, could lead to some impassable roads or flooding in low-lying areas. The heaviest rain is expected Friday night, to clear out Saturday.
Surge could be 1 to 3 feet from Wilmington south to the Brunswick County beaches. Rough surf and rip currents are expected, so boating and water activities are discouraged.
Some postponements, closures and early releases have been announced in the region; the list will be updated as more come in.
Bald Head Island — Village offices will be closed Friday, Sept. 21, including Village Hall, the Island Package Center and Post Office and Public Safety administration. Most staff will be working remotely. Bald Head Island Transportation released a statement: “Please be advised that we are expecting cancellations this weekend due to the upcoming storm. At current projections the Coast Guard will be shutting down the river at 1 am tonight. This is liable to change throughout the night. We will be making frequent updates as we learn more. Monitor our website for further updates. If you are traveling Friday plans may be affected.” Passenger ferry operations resumed at 8 a.m. Friday, but could close if conditions deteriorate.
Brunswick County Schools — An early release will take place for staff and students on Friday, September 22, 2023.
- High Schools: 11:45 a.m.
- Middle Schools: 12:00 p.m.
- Elementary Schools: 12:45 p.m.
All afterschool activities have been canceled Friday.
Brunswick County Community College — All of its campus locations will close at 1 p.m. Friday, including cancellation of evening classes that cannot move to remote learning. Operations are expected to resume normally on Saturday.
“Burned: Protecting the Protectors” — Jango’s Playhouse has canceled its Friday Night Film Series, showing “Burned: Protecting the Protectors.”
Cape Fear Arts Fest — Forward Motion Dance Company as canceled the Friday night performance at Thalian Hall. Saturday is still scheduled.
Cape Fear Latino Festival — Originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 23, the festival has been postponed to Saturday, Sept. 30, to take place at Live Oak Bank Pavilion from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event is a collaboration between the New Hanover County Office of Diversity and Equity, Cape Fear Latinos and the City of Wilmington.
Freeman Park — To close at 1 p.m., Friday, Sept. 22, and remain closed until further notice.
Lake Fest — The festival has been moved to Sunday from Saturday, due to inclement weather. It takes place at Greenfield Lake Park. The event, celebrating science and wildlife, takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will have games, live animals on site, face painting, activities and paddle-boat rides. Plus, there will be nature tours. It’s free.
Moores Creek National Battlefield — Closed Friday September 22, 2023. This will include all park trails and roads. A determination will be made about park operations for Saturday September 23, pending a thorough investigation of the safety of the park.
New Hanover County Schools — No early dismissal; all afterschool events and activities will be decided upon by the principals.
New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office BBQ Fundraiser — Scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 23, the BBQ has been moved to Oct. 28 at Cape Fear Freewill Baptist Church, 5350 Holly Tree Rd.
“Passages” — The screening of “Passages” as part of Cinematique will not take place at Thalian Hall Friday.
Pender County Schools — The district announced an early release on Friday, Sept. 22 for its area schools. The full schedule, with schools letting out between 11:30 a.m. and 12:35 p.m., can be viewed here
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