Hurricane Florence Update #21: Monday, September 17, 2018 2:oopm

TEADY PROGRESS ON RECOVERY EFFORTS     
Update #16 – Monday, Sept 17 – 2 pm
Access to Emerald Isle for RE-ENTRY PERMIT Holders ONLY – 8 am – 8 pm Daily
The Emerald Isle bridge is open for RE-ENTRY PERMIT holders ONLY from 8 am – 8 pmdaily, until further notice.  Individuals without a previously-issued Town of Emerald Isle re-entry permit will not be allowed through the checkpoint.
Individuals with a previously-issued Town of Emerald Isle re-entry permit may come and go, to and from the island, between 8 am and 8 pm only.  Re-entry permit holders may also spend the night on their property in Emerald Isle, however, a Town-wide curfew is in effect from 8 pm – 8 am.  It is illegal to move around Emerald Isle or leave your property during the curfew hours.
To proceed through the checkpoint, you must display your official re-entry permit.  No other forms of identification will be accepted to gain entry.  If you do not have a re-entry permit, you will not be permitted to enter Emerald Isle, and you will need to wait until the bridge is opened for the general public later this week.
 
Emerald Isle Bridge Remains Closed to General Public, Decision to Reopen to Everyone Will Be Day-To-Day
Individuals who do not have an Emerald Isle re-entry permit will not be allowed to enter Emerald Isle until further notice. The Town continues to work hard to address storm-related issues, and a decision on allowing the general public to re-enter Emerald Isle will be made on a day-to-day basis.  The Town is hopeful that the bridge will reopen to the general public within the next couple days.
Power Slowly Coming Back On in Various Areas
Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative is initially focused on restoring power on main transmission lines on NC 58 and Coast Guard Road, and some areas along these lines are slowly having power restored.
Power has been restored to many areas immediately adjacent to NC 58 between the Indian Beach town limits and Coast Guard Road, with intermittent gaps in service.  Power has also been restored along approximately 1 mile of Coast Guard Road, and to some neighborhoods located off of Coast Guard Road between Deer Horn Dunes and Dolphin Ridge.
Upon restoration of the main transmission lines, it is possible that portions of nearby neighborhoods will also come on at the same time, however, other electric system failures in nearby neighborhoods may still need to be addressed before power is fully restored in that neighborhood.  Power crews will begin branching out into these other areas to address these issues after the main transmission lines are restored.
The Town remains hopeful that power will be restored to the entire Town within the next few days, however, individuals returning to Emerald Isle should recognize that you may not have power at your home in Emerald Isle when you return.  Please plan accordingly.
Town’s Current Top Priority is To Clear Storm Water That Limits Vehicle Access West of Dolphin Ridge on Coast Guard Road
Due to significant storm water flooding, it is still not possible for most vehicles to access subdivisions located west of Dolphin Ridge along Coast Guard Road (Spinnakers Reach, Lands End, Point Emerald Villas, Wyndtree, and The Pointe).  Residents are permitted to park vehicles and walk to these areas along the beach.
After delivery delays due to inland flooding concerns, the Town has just taken delivery of several large portable storm water pumps.  These pumps will be deployed to this area, which is currently the Town’s highest priority storm water issue.  We are hopeful that water levels can be lowered such that this area becomes accessible for more vehicles as soon as possible.
This section of Coast Guard Road is currently barely passable for high-clearance pickup trucks, and Town staff are traveling through this area to attempt to address various storm water issues further west.
Local Businesses Beginning to Open
As power is gradually restored, critical local businesses are beginning to open to provide essential items.  Speedway gas station, Food Lion, Publix, and SoundACE Hardware are all open during limited hours.
Town Services, Other Information
Trash will not be collected on Monday or Tuesday, and recycling will not be collected on Wednesday.  The normal trash collection schedule is expected to resume on Thursday.
The Town Administration Building is open during normal business hours (8 am – 5 pm).
The Community Center remains closed indefinitely, and a reopening date will be announced soon.
All Town meetings and events from September 17 – 23 are cancelled.
Town Continues Efforts to Address Storm Water Flooding Issues
Town staff continue to operate and reposition (as problems are resolved) 6 portable pumps in flooded locations along Ocean Drive in eastern Emerald Isle.  As these problems are resolved, these pumps will be shifted to other problem areas from east to west.
With power being restored in some areas of Coast Guard Road, the Town’s fixed storm water pumps in Deer Horn Dunes and Sea Dunes are now running off of normal power.  The Osprey Ridge and Island Circle pumps are running off of generator power, and Spinnakers Reach pumps will be running off generator power this afternoon.  Lands End diesel pumps are functional, and the Town will soon connect a generator to activate the electric pumps in Lands End.
There are numerous other storm water flooding issues throughout Emerald Isle, and Town staff will be working to address these problems in the most strategic manner.  Identified storm water flooding areas include Sound Drive, Reed Drive, Wyndtree Drive, Wyndward Court, Bogue Court, and many low-spots along Ocean Drive in central and western Emerald Isle.
Thank you for your patience as we work hard to clear storm water flooding areas.  Please understand that Emerald Isle received approximately 24 inches of rain in 3 days, and many other ares of North Carolina are also experiencing significant flooding.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION for Those Beginning Clean-Up Activities
As property owners return and begin cleaning up their property from Florence’s damage, please help us complete the collection of debris in the most efficient and safe manner.
  • please create SEPARATE piles at the street edge,
  • please create one pile for vegetative debris (trees and limbs), one pile for construction and demolition debris (shingles, siding, plywood, studs, etc.), and one pile for discarded furnishings (carpet, furniture, large personal items),
  • tree and limb debris segments should be no longer than 12 feet,
  • please place discarded appliances in a separate location at the street edge,
  • please avoid placing piles directly under power lines and other overhead utility lines, as this may present a safety hazard to collection crews and may result in a slower collection process.
Town staff and our debris contractors will begin debris collection efforts early this week, and will continue these efforts for the next several weeks.  We will be working hard to have Emerald Isle back to normal as quickly as possible
Beach Profile Survey Planned for Later This Week
The County’s and the Town’s beach profile surveyors will be on the beach in Emerald Isle later this week and next week, and these surveys will be used to determine how much sand was lost from the beach and dunes as a result of Florence.  These calculations will be used to develop the Town’s forthcoming claim for FEMA assistance to restore lost sand via a planned beach nourishment project this coming winter.  The Town was fortunate to receive FEMA assistance for sand lost during Hurricanes Isabel, Ophelia, and Irene, and is expected to also be eligible for assistance related to Hurricane Florence.
Please Conserve Water!
Please do not use water to clean homes and vehicles when you arrive, as the Town’s public water supply remains at risk until all leaks (from private homes and piers) are identified and corrected.
Be Safe in Emerald Isle
The impacts from Hurricane Florence are significant, and the Town seeks to promote the safety of all individuals in Emerald Isle.  Please note that numerous hazards are present, so please be especially mindful of the following:
  • There are numerous areas with standing water in Emerald Isle, and there may be hazards, both man-made and animals, in the water.
  • Please be aware of low-hanging utility lines, and avoid contact.
  • Please exercise caution if / when connecting a generator to your home.
  • Please note that many beach access walkways have been damaged, and include high drop-offs to the beach strand.
Best Travel Routes
The best route from the Raleigh area to Emerald Isle remains US 70 east all the way to Morehead City, and then west on NC 24 to the Emerald Isle bridge.  Additionally, NC 24 has now reopened between Emerald Isle and Jacksonville after being closed to flooding in recent days (which prevented delivery of the Town’s rental storm water pumps.)
 
Please be advised that road conditions may change.  For the the latest information about eastern NC road conditions please consult your local authorities and/or NCDOT’s Travel Information Management System at  https://tims.ncdot.gov/tims/regionsummary.aspx# .

Please travel safe, and heed warnings along all roadways.  DO NOT ENTER flooded roadways, as the depth and speed of flowing water are often deceiving.  TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN! Do not become a drowning victim simply because of your impatience!

Drone Video of Florence Damage
Town volunteers are deploying drones over Emerald Isle again today to capture video of Florence damage to share with our property owners.  We expect the initial videos to be available later today, and these will be linked to the Town’s website at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/ .
Stay Informed!
The Town works hard to keep our residents, property owners, and visitors well-informed, and offers several platforms.
To receive the most current information from the Town of Emerald Isle, please:
– visit the Town’s website at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/ ,
– check the Town’s Facebook page at Town of Emerald Isle, NC,
– follow the Town’s Twitter feed: @townemeraldisle,
– sign up for the Town’s email newsletter at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/email-text-notifications ,
– sign up for text message alerts at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/email-text-notifications , and/or
– download the Emerald Isle APP at Google Play and The APP Store (search for “emerald isle nc“) and enable “push” notifications.