Hurricane Florence made landfall on Wrightsville Beach at 7:15 a.m. Friday, Sept. 14. The storm was predicted to linger in southeast North Carolina for several days, causing severe weather and flooding.
Here are some things you may need to know as Hurricane Florence continues its assault on the region.
A mandatory evacuation order was issued Saturday, Sept. 15 in Bladen County for residents living north of the Cape Fear River, in the vicinity of River Road, Burney Road, Tar Heel Ferry Road and along Harrison Creek.
Flooding is expected to be near or possibly higher than Hurricane Matthew levels. Residents are encouraged to move further inland. The closest shelter would be West Bladen High School. 1600 NC-410, Bladenboro.
As the effects of Florence grow, counties are updating their states of emergency and response plans.
A mandatory evacuation order was issued Saturday, Sept. 15 in Pender County for residents along and near the Black River, the Northeast Cape Fear River and creeks and streams.
“If you had flooding along the Northeast Cape Fear River during Hurricane Floyd, you need to evacuation now,” said Tom Collins, Pender County Emergency manager. “If you had flooding during Hurricane Matthew, you need to evacuate.”
Crusoe residents were asked to evacuate Sunday due to rising flood waters. Voluntary evacuations began at 12:00 pm today for Fair Bluff area. If you are in a low area that is flood prone, please evacuate to a shelter or another area.
According to the National Weather Service, the remnants of Hurricane Florence will produce as much as 24-inches of rainfall.
Red Cross and Pender County Health and Human Services is currently operating four shelters. The Pender County shelters are located at Topsail Elementary, Cape Fear Middle School, Malpass Corners Elementary, and Burgaw Elementary School.
For specific information:
Law enforcement urges people to avoid driving during the storm as much as absolutely possible.
One shelter is accepting residents in New Hanover County as of Sunday evening, according to county officials:
County officials also announced that Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem is open as a shelter.
According to officials, Garner High School, Southeast Raleigh High School, and Knightdale High School shelters in Wake County are at capacity.
New Hanover County is also coordinating transportation to a shelter in Winston-Salem at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, as all of the Wake County shelters were at capacity.
In Bladen County, the following shelter locations will open at noon Wednesday:
In Pender County, the following shelter locations will be open as of 8 a.m. Wednesday:
In Brunswick County, all emergency shelters will open at 2 p.m. Tuesday, and all are pet-friendly.
If you need help evacuating from Brunswick County call (910) 253-5383.
If you need help getting to a shelter, call (910) 642-8193 or (910) 642-7684
Here’s a suggested list of items to bring to a shelter:
As Hurricane Florence moves into the area, transportation officials expect a significant number of traffic issues and road closures. Several bridges are also expected to close. WECT will update this list as information becomes available. It is advised to stay off the roads during the storm. Don't drive through waters in which you can't see the roadway. Remember the saying, "turn around, don't drown."
Area schools and governments continue to update closing information. UNCW issued a mandatory evacuation, and classes at Cape Fear Community College and Brunswick Community College are canceled.
Several events planned for this week and next week have been canceled or postponed, including the Port City RibFest, the Brunswick County Veterans Services Tour and Wilmington Race for the Cure.
Duke Energy expects effects of Florence to be felt for several days or even weeks after the storm.
Duke Energy wants customers to report an outage as soon as possible. You can call (800) 769-3766 or text "OUT" to 57801. You can also sign up for text message alerts about outages and restoration timelines at your home or business.
Representatives from Duke Energy urge everyone to avoid down lines at all costs, and report those to the outage phone number as well.
If using a generator, never bring it indoors, even in the garage, and never refuel the machine while it is running. Duke provides a comprehensive guide to generator safety here.
Reporting downed trees/flooding within Wilmington City limits
Will major bridges shut down?
How can I keep my pets safe?
What should I do with my car?
What do all of these hurricane terms mean?
The First Alert Meteorologists are keeping a close eye on Florence and will show you the latest models and foretasted tracks during each newscast on WECT. They will also give updates anytime of the day, as they are needed. Beginning Wednesday, you can also hear updates on the radio at 94.5, 102.7 and 101.3 FM, and at 980 AM.
You can keep an eye on Hurricane Florence by clicking on WECT.com. There, you will find the latest predictions, tracks and radar. Be sure to check out the Hurricane Center and the Interactive Radar.
Now is the time to download the new WECT Weather App if you haven't done so already. The app has many features that will help you track the storm and keep you weather aware with push alerts from the National Weather Service and the First Alert Weather Team. Click here to learn more about the app, including how to turn on the tropical storm track over the radar.
You can also download the WECT News App to see updated information from our reporters in the field and across the region. If you do not have the app yet, you can download it for Android, iPhone and iPad.
Join in the conversation on the WECT Community Voice Facebook page. The First Alert Meteorologists will periodically answer your questions during Facebook Live events. We'll do what we can to keep you informed and answer your questions.
See it, Snap it, Send it
With so many new people moving into the Cape Fear region in recent years, there's a good chance some of you don't quite know what to expect. So we asked some of our veteran journalists for their advice on how to prepare for a hurricane. This is what they had to say: Tips From Anchors
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