Recovery updates for New Hanover residents post-Isaias

Recovery updates for New Hanover residents post-Isaias
A tree toppled at a home in southeastern North Carolina during Hurricane Isaias. (Source: User submitted)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Following Hurricane Isaias’ landfall in southeastern North Carolina Monday night, New Hanover County officials are now working on post-storm recovery efforts.

DEBRIS COLLECTION

New Hanover County has assessed damage around New Hanover County and plans to collect vegetative debris for residents in the unincorporated areas of the county at no cost to residents beginning the week of August 10, 2020.

Construction and demolition debris will NOT be collected, however residents can bring storm-related vegetative, construction and demolition debris to the landfill at no cost during regular operating hours. Fees will be waived for individual homeowners and residents who haul their own debris; this does not include companies or commercial haulers.

Residents can begin stacking vegetative debris, such as branches and vines, within five feet of the curb, away from the street, drainage ditches, and three feet away from fire hydrants, street signs, mailboxes and parked cars.

When cleaning and clearing debris for pick-up, residents are asked to follow these guidelines:

  • Separate vegetative debris (branches, leaves, etc.) from other debris and household rubbish. (Construction and demolition debris like tile, carpet, drywall, etc. will NOT be collected)
  • Do not place debris in bags
  • Pile smaller pieces of debris on top of larger pieces
  • Debris should be in pieces no larger than 12 feet in length
  • Place piles at least three feet from mailboxes, utility meters, sign posts, and hydrants
  • Place piles no further than five feet from the road
  • Do not place debris piles directly under power lines
  • Try to consolidate piles with neighbors

The city of Wilmington will activate its debris removal contract, following assessments performed by city staff on Tuesday. Trucks will arrive in the city later this week to be weighed and certified over the weekend. Debris removal operations will begin on Monday, August 10. For removal operations, the city will be divided into six zones, with two trucks deployed in each zone. Trucks may make two passes and additional trucks may be brought in depending on the demand for debris removal. Prior to removal operations, a map and instructions will be published to the city website and social media platforms.

Carolina Beach residents: On Monday, Aug. 10, a town debris contractor will begin picking up storm-related vegetative debris from the right of way.

Vegetative storm debris may include a combination of bundles and/or bags meeting the following criteria:

  • Bundles shall consist of limbs and shrubs no longer than four feet in length.
  • Only paper bags shall be utilized.
  • Bundles and bags shall be 50 pounds or less each

Storm debris DOES NOT include land clearing, trimmings, prunings or any other activity not associated with Isaias. Please DO NOT place any debris on utilities such as meter boxes, cable boxes, manholes, etc. Please have debris placed by the right of way by 7:00 a.m. on Monday, August 10th. There is no need to call in to schedule a -pick-up. If you have any questions, please contact us at Carolina Beach Town Hall at (910) 458-2999.

Kure Beach residents, according to town officials, can begin stacking vegetative debris, such as branches and vines, within five feet of the curb, away from the street, drainage ditches, and three feet away from fire hydrants, street signs, mailboxes and parked cars. Hurricane damage debris will be picked up in this service. YARD debris should be in separate piles from Hurricane debris (building, shingles and metal roofing) as they are required to be separated. Household waste or construction debris will not be picked up. These pickups have begun and will continue until Thursday, August 13.

Kure Beach trash service will be Wednesday (south end) and Thursday (north end) to pick-up the Monday/Tuesday missed pickups. Recycling will recommence on Monday with the normal schedule.

Residents of Wrightsville Beach should contact the town for debris pickup information and directions.

BURN BAN

There is a ban on open burning in the unincorporated areas of New Hanover County until further notice. The ban is in place due to the amount of storm debris from Hurricane Isaias, which causes an increased risk for injury and for property damage during this time. The ban will remain in effect while storm debris removal takes place, and can be viewed here.

COUNTY OFFICES AND OPERATIONS

New Hanover County has resumed normal operations.

All New Hanover County offices, facilities, parks, and the landfill, as well as New Hanover County Courts, resumed regular business hours on Wednesday, August 5. A State of Emergency remains in effect for administrative, cleanup and recovery purposes.

DAMAGE REPORTING AND REPAIRS

Residents who sustained property damage from Hurricane Isaias should submit a property damage report to the New Hanover County Tax Department at Tax.NHCgov.com by December 31, 2020 to be considered for an adjustment for the 2021 tax year.

Building permits for repairs to storm-damaged property can be obtained at no cost from the county until further notice. Call 910-798-1386 for more information.

EMERGENCY PUBLIC INFORMATION HOTLINE

The Emergency Public Information Hotline 910-798-6800 is currently operational and assisting residents with questions. Beginning on Wednesday, August 5 at 8 a.m., it will be available primarily as a COVID-19 call center, but will still be able to assist residents needing access to storm-related resources.

RESOURCES AND FOOD ASSISTANCE

New Hanover County is partnering with the New Hanover Disaster Coalition, Cape Fear Food Council, Crisis Cleanup, and other community partners to ensure residents receive assistance with storm-related needs. Beginning Thursday, August 6, residents can call 1-844-965-1386 to request assistance with cutting fallen trees, applying tarps, dealing with mold, drywall, flooring and appliance removal. More information will be posted on EmergencyNHC.com as it becomes available.

POWER OUTAGES

The latest estimate from Duke Energy, August 5 at 4 p.m., shows approximately 4,400 households are without power in the county, and that number continues to improve. Repairs and damage assessments by Duke Energy are currently underway. The outage map can be viewed here.

Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation shows approximately 2,700 people without power at this time. The outage map can be viewed here.

All power has been restored to customers in the Four County Electric Membership Corporation.

SAFETY REMINDERS

Below are several safety reminders we encourage the community to be aware of:

  • If you have to be on the road, treat all non-working traffic signals as a four-way stop.
  • Use caution around low-hanging power lines.
  • Do not drive around any road barricades – they are up for your safety.
  • As you start to clean up from the storm, wear protective clothing and gear for debris clean up.
  • Take precaution when using a chainsaw by wearing appropriate protective gear, making sure bystanders are a safe distance away and following manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Avoid contact with power lines and take extra care in cutting trees or branches that are bent or caught under something else.
  • Don’t walk through standing floodwaters. Keep in mind that floodwater often carries germs and other dangerous debris.
  • If your power is out, do not use a generator inside your home or garage, even if doors and windows are open. Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows. And use flashlights instead of candles to reduce the risk for fire hazards.
  • Refrigerated or frozen foods may not be safe to eat after the loss of power. Find out what you can do to keep food safe during a power outage, and when you need to throw away food that could make you sick here.

The public can call 910-798-6800 with questions, and stay informed through EmergencyNHC.com.

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