PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - With Pender and Brunswick County still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, county officials have issued a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Michael.
Pender County Chairman George Brown issued the declaration effective at noon Tuesday and Brunswick County said in a Tuesday afternoon news release a state of emergency will go into effect at 8 a.m. Thursday. The Town of Burgaw in Pender County declared a state of emergency effective at noon Tuesday.
A voluntary evacuation will be issued effective at 8 a.m. Thursday for Brunswick County residents living in low-lying or flood-prone areas or storm-damaged homes. West Brunswick High School will open as a pet-friendly shelter Thursday morning at 8.
Hurricane Michael is expected to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle area as a major hurricane then cut a path along the coast towards North Carolina. In its 11 a.m. ET report Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center reported the storm was just short of a Category 3, with 110 mph sustained winds.
“Pender County has been severely impacted by Hurricane Florence,” said Brown. “Additional rainfall, high winds, and storm surge from Hurricane Michael will impact already saturated areas of the county.”
“We urge our residents to secure tarps on their rooftops,” said Tom Collins, Pender County Emergency manager. “Secure lawn furniture and items that could become flying debris.”
Collins warned residents whose homes were damaged in Hurricane Florence to be mindful of weakened structures.
“When the ground is this saturated, trees fall. Power lines are taken down,” Collins said. “If you are sheltering in place, prepare for periods of being without power. Stock up on fresh water and refresh your emergency kits.”
Brunswick residents who need assistance getting out of their homes should call 910-253-5383.