Eastern Carolina counties monitoring Tropical Storm Hermine

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Counties across the east are monitoring the tropical system known as Hermine.

Both a Flash Flood Watch and Tropical Storm Warning are in effect for most of the WNCT 9 On Your Side viewing area. Get your WNCT 9 First Alert Weather Forecast here.

Torrential rainfall and flash flooding are expected across the area. Conditions are expected to make travel hazardous for motorists. Travelers should check the weather forecast before leaving home. Heavy rains, gusty winds and dangerous surf conditions are expected across the area, especially the coast. The rip current threat will remain high through the weekend.

Carteret County: The public is encouraged to monitor this event by listening to a NOAA Weather Radio, local news channels, and by following Carteret County Emergency Services at www.facebook.com/CCES7. WebEOC access is available for residents and visitors in Carteret County. WebEOC is an online tool that emergency officials use to manage events and emergency situations throughout the county. Residents and visitors can access the system and find updated information regarding road or bridge closures, shelter information, and press releases issued by the county and municipalities.

The public can access WebEOC by going https://carteret.webeocasp.com/carteret/
To log in, the “user” is public and the “password is public. The user and password should be entered in lowercase letters.

Officials are urging the public to monitor the event by listening to a NOAA Weather Radio, local news channels, and by following Carteret County Emergency Services at www.facebook.com/CCES7

  • Atlantic Beach: No extra personnel called in. Most of the work will be done after the storm when there’s things to clean up. One thing they will do Friday is tie things down.“We make sure things in the town are buttoned up, you know,” said Chief Jeffrey Harvey, Atlantic Beach Police. “We recommend that the citizens do the same thing if there’s stuff out in the yard that could be blown around; inflatable pools, garbage cans, anything like that. We pull our stuff inside and get that secure just so it doesn’t become a hazard.” Chief Harvey said the area is prone to flooding. They’ll have crews out and about during the storm to direct traffic away from flooded areas. If it gets too bad they’ll bring officers inside. Of course, he wants to remind people not to drive through standing water.

Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative is prepared to respond if power outages occur as a result of Tropical Storm Hermine.

“We have line crews ready to respond with storm restoration supplies and  extra phone crews ready to take calls through the night, “ said CCEC Communications Director Lisa Galizia. “If there is widespread damage, our members do not need to call. Just know that we are aware and are working to restore service as quickly as possible.”

If members see that power has been restored to their neighbors but not at their home, they can then call 247-3107 or 1-800-682-2217.

“If the phone is busy, please be patient. We’ll have people answering phones around the clock until power is restored,” Galizia continued.

The co-op recommends everyone have an emergency kit ready and cell phones charged to stay connected to emergency and safety reports in the event of an outage. If you encounter a fallen, sparking or sagging power line, do not touch it. Stay far away and call 911 immediately.

Keep up to date on the co-op’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CarteretCraven), which will be monitored and updated as warranted between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Do not report outages via Facebook.

Craven County: If you are a city customer and you lose power, report it by using our website portal at http://www.NewBern-NC.org. Scroll down the homepage to the “I Want To” section and click on “Report a Power, Water, or Sewer Emergency.” Complete and submit the form, which goes directly to Utilities Control. You can also call Utilities Control to report power, water or sewer outages or emergencies and storm damages at (252)636-4070. You do not need to speak to an operator. Leave a detailed message with your address, type of emergency, and contact info and an operator will call you back to ensure power, water, or sewer restoration. If you are a Duke Energy customer and you lose power, call (800)419-6356.

Residents are strongly encouraged to subscribe to the City’s emergency alert system, CodeRED. It’s free and alerts subscribers to emergencies within the community through text messaging, emails, or phone calls. You can sign up on the city website or download the CodeRED app to your smartphone. On the city website, go to Departments, then Fire-Rescue Department, then click on Web Links under the Misc tab.

The City will post additional storm updates and information, as necessary, to its social media platforms. Follow us on Twitter @CityofNewBern. Find us on Facebook at City of New Bern, NC Government.

Currituck County: At this time, no evacuations have been ordered in Currituck County. Motorists are reminded to never drive through flooded streets and to be on the lookout for downed trees on roadways. Anyone who sees a downed powerline should call 9-1-1 and not attempt to move the powerline themselves. Vacationers who are scheduled to arrive in Currituck County this weekend should check with their rental management company before they begin to travel, in order to make sure the local area and their specific rental home is safe and available. Citizens should continue to monitor the track of T.S. Hermine, and the public can receive updates by following Currituck County Government on:

Anyone with questions regarding storm preparation and safety may call Currituck Emergency Management at (252) 232-2115.

Dare County: Dare County Emergency Management offers the following tips and resources to ensure the safety of our residents and guests:

  • Check in with your emergency points of contact among family, friends and coworkers. Inform them of your status and well-being. Let them know your plans for riding out the storm and when you plan to check in again.  Keep cell phones well charged and handy. In the event of power outages, cell phones chargers for automobiles can be helpful after the storm. Locate your chargers and keep them with your cell phone.
  • Be prepared to remain indoors, away from windows, during what is anticipated to be a fast-moving storm.
  • Know your location. If visiting the area, learn the exact street address of where you are staying in case of an emergency.
  • If you lose power, do not operate generators or gas grills indoors.  As weather conditions worsen, travel only if absolutely necessary and stop if you encounter water covering the road. Turn around, don’t drown! It is never safe to drive or walk through flood waters because you will not know the depth of the water or the condition of the ground underneath.
  • Drivers of large trucks and SUV’s are advised to use extreme caution especially on bridges.  All residents and visitors, especially those in oceanfront and soundside areas prone to flooding, are advised to take precautions. Move high value items to higher ground including vehicles and boats. Storm surge could cause flooding. Storm surge inundation forecasts can be found at http://tinyurl.com/j7lbsrq.

To stay up to date with the latest weather and traffic conditions in Dare County, download the free Ready NC App at www.ncready.org.  Subscribe to receive email updates from Dare County Emergency Management at www.DareCountyEM.com and follow @DareCountyEM on Twitter.  View the latest watches, warnings and advisories from the National Weather Service at www.weather.gov/mhx.  For the most up to date information regarding the status of NC12, visit www.facebook.com/NCDOTNC12.

Hyde County: Access to Ocracoke continues to be restricted to emergency personnel, utilities, vendors, residents, and non-resident property owners only. Access to Ocracoke Island for visitors is prohibited until further notice. North Carolina Department of Transportation Ferry Division currently has 8 vessels in Hatteras/Ocracoke that are working on the evacuation to the North and 4 vessels working the Cedar Island, Swan Quarter/Ocracoke route to the south and east. Thursday, authorities evacuated 406 cars 1161 people through Hatteras, 26 cars and 54 people through Cedar Island and 20 cars 40 people through Swan Quarter. Total of 452 cars and 1255 people. North Carolina Department of Transportation Ferry Division will be meeting Friday afternoon to determine the future ferry schedule for the remainder of this event. Visitors with reservations next week are advised to call their rental companies after the storm passes to check on the current conditions.

Onslow County: Onslow County Emergency Services will stand up a Type IV activation at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) beginning at 3 p.m. This means Emergency Services division heads will be present at the EOC for the storm. Neither a State of Emergency nor evacuations are recommended at this time. Shelters are not open, but staff remains on standby. The County’s swift-water rescue team is also on standby as of 6 p.m. should their services be necessary. Due to the impending storm, all Onslow County Public Library branches, Onslow County Parks & Recreation facilities and the Onslow County Museum will close at 5 p.m. Some County facilities will open tomorrow (9/3) with modified schedules for the safety of staff and the public:

  • Beach accesses will have a delayed opening of 10 a.m. so County officials may inspect for damages and make repairs if needed.
  • Onslow County Public Library branches and the Onslow County Museum will open no earlier than 10 a.m.

District parks will open at the normally scheduled time of 10 a.m. The Onslow County Landfill and Onslow County Emergency Services will be on regular schedules, using safe judgment and caution with the changing weather conditions.

“At three o’clock, we will go into limited activation of our emergency center,” said Norman Bryson, Onslow County Emergency Services Director. “At this time, we do not see any actions as far as curfews evacuations or anything along those lines at this time.” Bryson reminds everyone to take precautions:

  • Secure all loose items on your property
  • Stay indoors if possible
  • Prepare disaster readiness kits with items like water, food, and batteries
  • Monitor media outlets for update
  • North Topsail Beach: All property owners are advised to prepare for this storm. Please secure all loose items on your property. Trash service is cancelled for Saturday (rental companies have been notified). The Town’s solid waste contractor will pick up bagged household waste left beside carts on Wednesday to account for the missed pick-up.
    There will be a high risk of rip currents along all area beaches continuing through the weekend. Swimming is not advised. Beach erosion is possible and some areas may receive coastal flooding especially in low lying areas. The Town is prepared to assess the shoreline after the storm to determine the severity of erosion.

Pitt County: In conjunction with the American Red Cross, Pitt County Emergency Management will open a general population shelter at Welcome Middle School, 3101 N Memorial Drive, Greenville, NC 27834 on Friday, September 2, 2016 at 3:00pm in response to Tropical Storm Hermine. As a proactive measure, the shelter has been activated and will be prepared in the event that any citizens should need to leave their homes due to flooding. Anyone evacuating to a shelter is asked to bring identification, personal medications and medical supplies with them. It is also recommended that people bring blankets, pillows, non-perishable food items, special dietary foods, extra clothing, toiletry items and important documents before they leave their homes. Additionally, special items for children and infants, such as diapers, formulas and toys, should be brought, along with other items for family members who are elderly or disabled. Illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, weapons and smoking are not allowed in the shelter. Pets are not allowed at general shelters unless they are service animals. For more information on this shelter opening, or any storm related efforts by Pitt County, please call Pitt County Emergency Management at 252-902-3590.

  • Greenville: The City of Greenville is prepared for significant rainfall the system will bring with it. Greenville is under a flash flood watch, prompting City officials to prep in areas of the city that are most prone to flooding. Potential flood zones in Greenville include:
    • 14th Street and Charles Street (Both sides of Rite-Aid)
    • 10th Street and College Hill
    • 1st Street and Brownlea Drive
    • Reade Street and Cotanche Street
    • Evans Street and Deck Street
    • Evans Street and Arlington Boulevard
    • Dickinson Avenue Underpass
    • Old Tar Road

    Those traveling in the flood-prone areas are advised to stay alert for standing water and the potential that some of these streets could be blocked if flooding occurs. If you encounter flooding, the following safety tips are recommended:

    • Remember that flash flooding can occur even if it is not raining in your area because it could be raining harder upstream.
    • Never attempt to drive through water covering a roadway or bridge. Keep in mind that it does not take a lot of water to incapacitate a vehicle, and there may not be a road under the water.
    • Watch for flooding at bridges and dips in the road.
    • Watch for debris (rocks, limbs, etc.) that may be caught in moving water and can be dangerous if you are forced to walk or swim through flood waters.
    • Stay on high ground as much as possible.

    To report an emergency situation during the storm, call 911. To report any flooding after the storm, call 329.4522.

    Flooding is not the only concern associated with heavy rainfall. The ground may also become extremely saturated, loosening the dirt around trees and power lines. High winds that are often associated with a tropical system could cause the trees or power lines to fall. If you encounter a downed power line, do not touch it and call the Greenville Utilities Commission emergency hotline immediately at 1-855-767-2482. Always assume that a power line is live and dangerous.

    In preparation for Hermine, the City will also suspend its GREAT Bus services one hour early tonight with the last stop coming at 5:25 p.m. Service will be suspended until Saturday, September 3 at 12:25 p.m.

    Greenville Public Works spent Thursday making sure storm drains are ready to handle several inches of rain in the next few days. Street superintendent Ronnie Donley said crews are working around the clock to clean culverts to keep roads from flooding, “We have a lot of sand in the area and usually it will deposit it right out by a culvert and you get a buildup of sand that takes up volume and you have to go in and clean some of that sand out so you can get full capacity of the culvert.” Donley said if you have drains near your home, make sure they’re clear of debris and garbage. You can find a link to Public Works here.

    If the storm does cause power outages or other system damage, Greenville Utilities customers are asked to call our toll-free Emergency Hotline, 1-855-767-2482. Electric outages can also be reported via our website at guc.com/storm-central. GUC will provide regular updates via its website guc.com, as well as our Facebook page (facebook.com/GreenvilleUtilities) and Twitter page (twitter.com/guc_info).

    If your power goes out, GUC offers the following tips:
    • Check to see if the outage includes other houses in your neighborhood. If it hasn’t, check your fuse box and circuit breaker panel to see if you can locate the problem. If the neighboring houses are dark too, look to see if there are any trees or branches in the lines, and if there are downed wires, flashes of light or any other sign of trouble.
    • Turn off everything in your house except for one light.
    • Sometimes tree limbs fall on the wires coming from the pole to your house with such force that the wiring and meter base are pulled from the house. In this case, you must call an electrician to make repairs before GUC can restore your power.DO NOT TOUCH ANY DOWNED POWER LINES OR ANYTHING THAT IS IN CONTACT WITH A DOWNED POWER LINE.
    • Stay well away from dangerous areas. If a wire falls on your car while you’re in it, stay in the car until the wire is removed.
    • An unopened refrigerator will keep foods safely cold for about 4 hours without power. Most freezers will keep food safe for 36 to 48 hours if left closed.
    • To prevent overloading the system when power is restored, when the power goes out, turn off everything in your home except for one light. If the outage lasts over 60 minutes, turn off your water heater too. In addition, make sure the surface elements on your range have been turned off and that other heat producing appliances are off as well. If left on, they can pose a serious fire hazard.
    • When power has been restored, slowly switch your appliance back on over a 30-60 minute period of time. This will prevent overloading the system, which could lead to another outage.
    • In a natural gas emergency, while you are waiting for repair service, do not light matches, use appliances or talk on the phone. If it is safe to do so, leave the premises.
    • If you evacuate, shut off gas, water and electricity at the breaker box. Take blankets, first aid supplies and other essential items to the nearest shelter.

9 On Your Side will continue to add information from additional counties as it becomes available.

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