State of Emergency not likely for Wilmington until Sunday at the earliest, mayor says

State of Emergency not likely for Wilmington until Sunday at the earliest, mayor says
Mayor Bill Saffo, City of Wilmington

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - While Governor Roy Cooper has declared a State of Emergency for North Carolina, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo says he has no immediate plans to issue one until later this weekend if necessary.

“Right now we don’t anticipate any kind of emergency declaration until Sunday--at the earliest,” Saffo said Friday evening. “At this time, there will be no shelters that are open. We do know that emergency staff now are beginning to ramp up staffing.” 

Mayor Saffo says while there are no shelters open right now, city emergency staff members have been preparing to make sure residents are protected from exposure to COVID-19 should shelters open.

“They’ve been talking about this since the pandemic began back in March and how we’re going to do the social distancing to protect those folks who are in vulnerable areas that are in harm’s way,” he says. “Obviously, we’re going to be asking a lot of our citizens to shelter in place. That is probably the safest thing for them and their families. But those that are in low lying areas or in mobile homes or in areas that flood a lot, we’re going to have preparations and we’ll have shelters ready for them if need be.”

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