Counties issue guidance in preparation for Hurricane Isaias

As Hurricane Isaias is currently on track to impact southeastern North Carolina with significant rain, high winds, storm surge and flooding
Updated: Jul. 31, 2020 at 7:35 PM EDT
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SOUTHEASTERN N.C. (WECT) - As Hurricane Isaias is currently on track to impact southeastern North Carolina with significant rain, high winds, storm surge and flooding, officials are issuing important information for residents to be prepared.

Updates will be added as they become available.

North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry gives advice about hurricane preparedness and knowing your zone for evacuation plans.

We're no stranger to hurricane season, but make sure you have modified some of your plans to protect yourself & your...

Posted by New Hanover County Government, NC on Friday, July 31, 2020

Officials will be meeting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday August 1 to discuss potential curfews and evacuation orders according to the most up-to-date hurricane information.

Meanwhile, new shelter information has been issued. New locations for 2020 are as follows:

  • Cedar Grove Middle School, 750 Grove Trail, SW, Supply, NC 28462
  • Town Creek Middle School, 6370 Lake Park Dr. SE, Winnabow, NC 28479

Click here for the latest hurricane updates for Brunswick County.

The Town of Ocean Isle Beach declared a State of Emergency as of Friday July 31 at 4:00 p.m. and issued orders for evacuation, curfew and various other restrictions and prohibitions.

The Mayor, by ordinance of the Town of Ocean Isle Beach, issued a mandatory evacuation order by 12 p.m. Saturday, August 1 for all renters, vacationers and guests.

In the event a voluntary evacuation is required, residents remaining on the island will be restricted to their private property due to the potential for injury from storm-related utilities and possible infrastructure damage. The Town will maintain basic emergency services; however, there is no guarantee that services will be provided at normal levels.

If the track of the hurricane shifts, or the conditions intensify, a mandatory evacuation may be required for everyone.

The Odell Williamson Bridge will be closed to traffic should wind speeds reach 50 mph or greater. No decals will be issued following a declared state of emergency.

Officials recommend residents make evacuation plans for the storm now because, due to social distancing guidelines and guidance from the American Red Cross, space at county emergency shelters will be very limited.

County shelters should only be considered as a last resort as a safe, dry environment that will have limited meal capabilities. Residents who need to use this option should bring bedding as cots will not be available for the first two days.

See for guidelines.

Columbus County shelter locations are as follows:

  • East Columbus High School, 32 Gator Lane, Lake Waccamaw, NC 28450
  • West Columbus High School, 7294 Andrew Jackson HWY SW, Cerro Gordo, NC 28430
  • Edgewood Elementary School, 317 E. Calhoun Street, Whiteville, NC 28472
  • South Columbus High School, 40 Stallion Drive, Tabor City, NC 28463
  • Guideway/Nakina/Old Dock Areas TBD.

At least one shelter will be designated a pet co-location shelter where residents can evacuate with their cats or dogs; no other animals will be admitted and pets will be housed in a separate area of the shelter due to health and safety concerns.

Owners must stay at the shelter with their pets and must bring pet vaccination records and at least a 5-7-day supply of food.

The city is working with New Hanover County Office of Emergency Management to implement coordinated response efforts. Stormwater drains are being cleared and the levels of Randall Pond and Greenfield Lake are being lowered.

If winds are in excess of 40 mph, trash collection vehicles will not operate regular trash and recycling collection; services will resume Wednesday, August 5th.

The City of Wilmington recommends residents avoid placing trash cans and yard waste at the curb ahead of the storm; instead, store or secure any roll-away trash carts.

Further to an emergency meeting, the Town of Kure Beach declared a State of Emergency and Threatened Disaster.

Town offices serving the public will close at 5:00 p.m. Friday, July 31 until the State of Emergency is lifted, although emergency personnel will remain on duty and available. Curfew will be enacted as required and evacuation orders may be declared later.

As with any severe weather, there will be potential for power outages across the region.

Before a storm hits, customers can sign up to receive outage alerts, and ensure contact information is current and communication preferences specified.

Use the Duke Energy mobile app – download the Duke Energy App from a smartphone via Apple Store or Google Play

Duke Energy Carolina customers can report a power outage by calling 1-800-POWERON (1-800-769-3766) to access the automated outage-reporting system.

Duke Energy Progress customers should call 1-800-419-6356

Alternatively, customers can text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply) or visit on a desktop computer or mobile device.

Important safety tips

If a power line falls across a car that you're in, stay in the car. If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.

Members of the public who have electrical service to facilities (piers, outside lighting on seawalls, etc.) on or near water should have this service de-energized to avoid injuries and equipment damage.

If rising water threatens your home — or if you evacuate your home — turn off your power at the circuit breaker panel or fuse box.

Electric current passes easily through water, so stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires. Don't drive over — and don't stand near — downed power lines.

Downed lines will be hard to see in the rain and can potentially be hidden in standing water. If you encounter large pools of standing water, stop, back up and choose another path.

The FDA offers additional tips for proper food handling and storage before, during and after a power outage at

Add hand sanitizer and face masks to your emergency kit, charge cellphones and electronic devices and stock up on batteries for flashlights.

Disaster kits should include prescription medicines, bottled water, clothing, flashlights, a battery-powered radio, batteries, items needed for pets, insurance policies, your home inventory, passports/drivers licenses/ID cards, birth and marriage certificates, and bank account numbers and other financial information.

Filing a claim

For car, home, or business owners who suffer damage from the storm, here are some tips for filing an insurance claim:

  • Survey the damage and notify your insurance agent or company of any losses.
  • Make any temporary repairs necessary to protect property from further damage. Keep all receipts for material used.
  • Do not dispose of damaged personal property until an adjuster has examined it.
  • Photographs or video documentation of damaged property may be helpful.
  • Find your insurance policy and have your policy number handy when you are ready to make a claim.

People should follow local evacuation orders should they be issued.

The state is urging people to make every effort to stay with family and friends or in a hotel, as the first option because of the added risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residents and visitors seeking shelter will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. If an individual has COVID symptoms, they will be redirected to a non-congregate sheltering option where they can more easily isolate.

Social distancing means fewer residents in shelters, and if needed, more facilities and volunteers to shelter the same amount of people as in previous seasons.

Maximizing space requirements may mean not all shelters will offer cots. Be prepared to provide your own bedding and care items.

Meals will be served in sealed containers and shelters will move away from serving lines or buffets to minimize the potential exposure of everyone in the shelter.

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