Isaias guide for the Cape Fear region: Shelters, curfews, voluntary evacuations, possible power outages [Free]

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New Hanover Emergency Management Director Steven Still talks with Zak Whicker in the county’s Emergency Operation Center Monday morning as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches the Carolinas. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)

CAPE FEAR REGION — Governments in the Cape Fear region are preparing for Tropical Storm Isaias (ees-ah-EE-ahs), forecasted to regain hurricane strength before making landfall somewhere near the North and South Carolina border.

While Brunswick County has opened two public emergency shelters (see more information below), New Hanover and Pender counties have yet to open their own shelters as of 1 p.m. on Monday, although each said they are ready to do so if the need arises.

Some towns in the region have also issued curfews for various times throughout Monday night after declaring states of emergency, from Surf City on Topsail Island to Holden Beach in southern Brunswick County.

Tropical-storm-force winds are expected to arrive in the North-South Carolina border region around 8 p.m. Monday night. As of 11 a.m. Monday, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center say the storm could bring to the Cape Fear region hurricane-force winds (74 mph or greater), dangerous storm surge flooding (3 to 5 feet above ground level if the surge occurs during high tide along the southeast North Carolina coasts), rainfall flooding (3 to 6 inches), tornadoes, and power outages.

For updated information on shelters, curfews, possible bridge closures, and power outages, see below (this information will be updated throughout Monday).

Shelters

Out of the three counties in the Cape Fear region, only Brunswick has opened public shelters — both new locations — for those seeking refuge from Tropical Storm Isaias.

  • Brunswick County: The county has opened Cedar Grove Middle School (750 Grove Trail, Supply, NC) and Town Creek Middle School (6370 Lake Park Dr., Winnabow, NC).
    • As the governor said recently, the county emphasized that shelters “should be only considered as a last resort” due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
    • Face coverings and masks must be worn at all times at the shelters. People are encouraged to bring their own, but disposable face masks will be provided.
    • If you are suspected to have Covid-19 symptoms, you will be required to stay in an isolated section of the shelter to prevent potential spread.
    • For information on what to bring and shelter logisitics, visit brunswickcountync.gov/emergency/shelters/
  • New Hanover County: According to New Hanover Emergency Management Director Steven Stills, the county is not opened shelters because of social distancing requirements and the risk of spreading Covid-19. “If we feel the risk is there, we absolutely have the abilities to flex and open up emergency shelters if we need to,” he said late Monday morning.
    • Those who need emergency assistance or feel like they are in an unsafe area can call the Emergency Public Information number at (910) 798-6800.
  • Pender County: The county has no plans to open public shelters at this time. Pender Fire Marshal Tommy Batson said if beaches decide to issue mandatory evacuations or certain events like tornadoes present themselves during the storm, the county has personnel and equipment ready to open shelters quickly.

Curfews

Curfews have been enacted in the following Cape Fear beach towns:

  • Bald Head Island: 5 p.m. Monday to 9 a.m. Tuesday
    • Last ferry to leave the island departs 3 p.m. Monday
  • Holden Beach: 6:30 p.m. Monday to 6:30 a.m. Tuesday
  • Ocean Isle: 9 p.m. Monday to 8 a.m. Tuesday
  • Shallotte: 9 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m.
  • Southport: 6pm Monday, unknown when curfew ends
    • Street Closures: 3 p.m. (Bay St, Brunswick St., Yacht Basin Dr.): closed from Kingsley Park to Southport Marina)
    • All city parks and offices closed (3pm)
  • Sunset Beach: 6 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday
  • Surf City: a curfew for the island portion of the town will be enacted from 8 p.m. Monday to 7 a.m. Tuesday
  • Topsail Beach: sunset Monday to sunrise Tuesday

This list will be updated throughout the day on Monday.

Voluntary Evacuations

Voluntary evacuations have been issued for the following towns:

  • Carolina Beach: effective at noon Monday
  • Holden Beach: effective at 11 a.m. on Monday
  • Wrightsville Beach: A voluntary evacuation for all non-residents went into effect at noon Monday.

Kure Beach has said a mandatory or voluntary evacuation, along with a curfew, will be declared at a later time.

This list will be updated throughout the day on Monday.

Island Bridges

The North Carolina Department of Transportation “yields to the municipalities over closure” of the region’s bridges, according to New Hanover Emergency Management Director Steven Stills. Check back here throughout Monday to see if bridges have been closed due to high winds or mandatory evacuations.

Power Outages

Check back here later Monday evening to see if your area has been affected by any power outages: Duke Energy Current Outages Map.

Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks said local crews are on alert and will respond to outages as soon as the storm passes. He explained a system of cascading reinforcements: crewmembers in Raleigh, western North Carolina, upstate South Carolina; around 350 crewmembers from the Midwest currently located in the Raleigh area; and also crews in Florida ready to deploy tomorrow if needed.

Because crewmembers cannot work when winds reach a certain speed, the they will shelter in place and send out repair crews and damage assessors. He said it’s possible for residents to see a Duke Energy truck pass through a neighborhood and not stop — likely assessors determining the most effective response strategies.


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