Crystal Coast Hurricane Information

Hurricane info on the crystal coast, Hurricanes and the coast,

Crystal Coast Hurricane Information

Hurricane season extends from June to November. When a hurricane approaches, the Town officials will issue either a mandatory or a voluntary evacuation. During a mandatory Crystal Coast Hurricane evacuation, everyone must leave the island and go further inland. This includes both vacationers and permanent residents.

After the mandatory evacuation is executed, the bridges are secured by the state police, and no vehicles are allowed on the island until the evacuation is lifted. During a voluntary evacuation, the individual can decide whether they leave the island or not. Still, they are given instructions to take in porch furniture, secure windows, and doors, etc. The Weather Channel issues early warnings, so citizens have ample time to prepare. Newspapers, radio, and television stations keep the public notified about evacuations and re-entry information after the Crystal Coast Hurricane has passed.

Crystal Coast Hurricane Information for the Town of Emerald Isle

Hurricane Evacuation and Re-Entry Information

Conditions and terms that will be described on television and radio are as follows:

  • Gale Warnings: When winds of 39 to 54 miles per hour are imminent.
  • Hurricane Watch: When hurricane conditions are expected within 24-36 hours
  • Hurricane Warning: When a hurricane strike is expected within 24 hours with winds of 74 MPH or higher.

You may also hear hurricane condition terms such as:

  • Condition 4: Begin serious planning.
  • Condition 3: 36-48 hours to forecasted landfall.
  • Condition 2: 18-24 hours to forecasted landfall.
  • Condition 1: Expected landfall within 18 hours or less.

Steps to ensure your safety:

  • Listen to weather reports and storm info available on the following radio and TVs
  • Stations: TV: WITN-7, WFXI-8, WNCT-9, WCTI-12; RADIO: 740 AM, 1400 AM, 96.3 FM, 106.5 FM.
  • Monitor the National Weather Service (NOAA) or the local Channel 10. Fill your vehicle up with gas since gas lines will be longer during a hurricane emergency or electricity to gas pumps might be off. Once a hurricane watch is ordered, prepare to leave the island whether you are staying at your home, motel, hotel, campground, mobile home park, or rental property. Emerald Isle Police will notify all property managers of rental properties with sufficient lead time so that you can easily and safely leave the island.

All residents and visitors in Emerald Isle, Salter Path, Pine Knoll Shores, Atlantic Beach, and Indian Beach can leave by either the Emerald Isle or the Atlantic Beach Bridge before and during the Hurricane Watch. Once a Hurricane Warning is issued, all residents and visitors must leave via the Emerald Isle Bridge only. Please travel at least 50 miles inland to get shelter. Local shelters are limited and are meant for primary use by residents. No boats, trailers, motor homes, or high-profile units will be allowed over the bridges when winds reach a sustained force of 45 MPH. Bogue Banks island will be closed to all incoming traffic (except emergency vehicles) once officials declare a “State of Emergency.” Remember should you remain on the island after the bridges become impassable, there may not be any food services, utilities, or emergency services available until the bridge is reopened.

Besides damaging winds and flooding from heavy rains, there is also the possibility of dangerous storm surges. A storm surge is a dome of water that can be as high as 20 feet. It takes 10-12 hours to safely evacuate our island during the summer season when the population is the highest. There will be traffic jams in areas such as Havelock on US 70 and Maysville on US 17 while leaving the area. Please give yourself ample time, so you are not stranded on the highway with high winds and heavy rains imminent.

After the Hurricane has passed and essential personnel have determined the area safe, the decision is made when residents and visitors can return to Emerald Isle and the surrounding beaches of Salter Path, Indian Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, and Atlantic Beach. The general public will be able to return only after it is determined the entire island is safe. Even then, there may be spots that will be closed to the public because of danger.

Re-Entry

Emerald Isle property owners and annual renters are issued a re-entry pass from the Town of Emerald Isle. These passes are necessary to return to the island after an evacuation. Each property owner is issued ONE FREE PASS per property. These are permanent passes and are not issued yearly: The owner must turn this pass to the new owner if the property is sold. Contact Emerald Isle Town Hall at (252) 354-3424 for further information about re-entry passes.

Crystal Coast Hurricane Information for the Town of Atlantic Beach

Hurricane Evacuation and Re-Entry Information

Conditions and terms that will be described on television and radio are as follows:

  • Gale Warnings: When winds of 39 to 54 mph are expected.
  • Hurricane Watch: When hurricane conditions are expected within 24-36 hours
  • Hurricane Warning: When a strike is anticipated within 24 hours with winds exceeding 74 mph and/or high tides and waves.

You may also hear various conditions announced regarding the expected landfall time of a hurricane. They are:

  • Condition 4: Hurricane Advisory, begin serious planning.
  • Condition 3: Hurricane Watch is on, with 36 to 48 hours to forecasted landfall.
  • Condition 2: Hurricane Warning is on, with 18 to 24 hours of forecasted landfall.
  • Condition 1: Hurricane Warning is on, with 18 to 24 hours of forecasted landfall.

Steps to ensure your safety:

  • Listen to weather reports and storm information on the following stations.
  • TV: WITN-7, WFXI-8, WNCT-9, WCTI-12
  • Radio: 740 AM, 1400 AM, 96.3 FM, 95.1 FM, 106.5 FM
  • We also suggest you monitor the National Weather Service (NOAA), Channel 10, 162.40 MHz, for accurate, updated weather information and advisories.
  • Make sure your automobile has a full tank of gas. Lines at all stations will be longer than usual.
  • Once a WATCH is issued, be prepared to leave your home, motel, hotel, campground, mobile home park, or rented unit. Town Police will notify managers of these establishments with sufficient lead time so that you can easily and safely depart.

All residents and visitors in Atlantic Beach and Pine Knoll Shores can leave by either the Atlantic Beach or Emerald Isle bridges before and during the HURRICANE WATCH. Once the HURRICANE WARNING is issued, all residents and visitors must leave via the Atlantic Beach Bridge.

Plan to travel at least 50 miles inland. Local shelters are limited and are primarily for residents.

No boat trailers, house trailers, motor homes, or similar high-profile units will be allowed on the highways leading to the bridges or through control points once winds reach sustained 45 mph or in gale-force ranges.

The island will be closed to all incoming traffic, except emergency personnel coming on, once island officials declare a “State of Emergency.” Remember that there may not be any food services, Police, Fire, EMS services, or utilities available.

Besides the damaging winds and flooding from heavy rains, the major threat to the island is a storm surge. A storm surge is a dome of water that could be as high as 20 feet.

It will take 10-12 hours to safely evacuate the county during periods of high visitor population. There will be traffic bottlenecks in areas such as Havelock on US 70 and Maysville on US 17. When authorities recommend evacuation, we urge you to do so immediately.

After essential personnel have determined the area is safe, the decision will be made regarding when residents and visitors may return. Do not assume that you can return to the island since the storm has passed. The island will remain closed to oncoming traffic until Emergency Services personnel can secure the island, assess the damages, and control all hazardous situations. Once hazards are controlled, and damage assessment is complete, the Town Officials will then be able to decide as to permit re-entry onto the island. Re-entry will first be to residents, property owners, and business owners possessing a valid re-entry pass. The general public will be able to return only after officials determine that the entire island is safe and secure. Even then, there may be some specific areas in town that will be closed to the public.

Re-Entry

  • Permits will only be issued Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM. No permits will be issued or mailed 24 hours before projected landfall.
  • Re-entry passes are permanent and do not need to be replaced each year. The permanent system began in April 2009 and was modified effective July 1, 2018.
  • Atlantic Beach property owners (real and personal), long-term renters with a current lease agreement, and business owners with active business registrations may purchase passes for $25 each. The number of passes that can be purchased per parcel number or business is not limited. ALL PASSES AS OF JULY 1, 2018 SHALL BE PURCHASED FOR $25 EACH, NO EXCEPTIONS. NO REFUNDS WILL BE GIVEN FOR PURCHASED PASSES.

Purchase re-entry permits online

Re-entry permits may be purchased at the Atlantic Beach Town Hall with proof of ownership or long-term lease for $25 each. If the owner wishes to authorize someone else to purchase a permit on their behalf, the notarized attestation form will be required.

 

Important Links

We hope this information helps. Please contact the town directly or visit their website if you have questions about a specific town’s policies or procedures.  Looking for additional helpful information? Read: Be Ready: Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

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