OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - Isaias briefly intensified to a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 84 mph Monday, August 3 before making an official landfall at Ocean Isle Beach (OIB) in Brunswick County at 11:10 p.m.
Northeast of OIB, “Oak Island suffered one of the higher gusts: 87 mph...offshore and elevated, Frying Pan Tower pinged the top gust: 97 mph,” according to WECT First Alert Weather meteorologist Eric Davis.
Late Monday afternoon, the Town of Ocean Isle Beach proclaimed a State of Emergency and issued a curfew that began at 9 p.m. Monday night.
As the eye of Hurricane Isaias hovered over Ocean Isle Beach Monday night, Mayor Debbie Smith of Ocean Isle Beach told WECT News the storm had sparked a series of fires at several homes.
Smith also said that some portions of the community were flooded as a result of the rain and storm surge.
Strong winds caused power outages and damaged structures at OIB and along the coast.
Tuesday morning, the State of Emergency was amended. OIB bridge remained closed to everyone except essential personnel (law enforcement, power and sewer crews). Crews worked to restore power and sewer first.
The curfew was also extended until further notice while Town staff assessed the full extent of the damage to the island.
Residents who did not evacuate must stay in their homes and off the roads. Police will be enforcing this directive.
Because of the high level of damage to infrastructure, the island will stay closed to visitors for the remainder of the week.
Re-entry is in two phases:
Phase 1 – As of 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, the island was deemed safe for re-entry by property and business owners with decals or other proof of ownership.
Phase 2 – Contractors with decals will be allowed back on the island. Contractors without decals will be able to purchase decals at the base of the bridge.
Updates will be issued through the Town of OIB website.