Help Rebuild the Dunes with your Christmas Tree

rebuilding the dunes after storms

If you’ve been looking for a way to help save the dunes, especially after Hurricane Florence, we’ve got a simple and easy tip – help rebuild the dunes with your Christmas tree!

Help Rebuild the Dunes with your Christmas Tree

sand dunes, rebuilding the sand dunes

Still Battling Back from Hurricane Florence

There’s no hiding the fact that the last quarter of 2018 was a whirlwind for thousands of people along the Crystal Coast of North Carolina. If we all learned a lesson since Hurricane Florence, it’s how truly incredible of a community we live in. Neighbors pitched in to clean their communities, volunteers stocked and distributed household goods for those in need, and town governments got right to work hauling away debris. It’s safe to say that we’re coming into 2019 with a much stronger and resilient sense of community than ever before.

Beach Dunes Never Breached

With all that being said, the beach is still the major factor in driving tourism traffic to our coast. Even with the significant storm surge and winds, there was no reported breaching of the dunes. They did their job and stood tall to protect our properties, homes, and local businesses. It’s clear now more than ever that it’s time to rebuild these sand dunes back up to the point they were in prior to the storm. Believe it or not, but donating your Christmas tree is an excellent opportunity for you to help restore our shoreline. When left on the beach, Christmas Trees take almost an entire year to decay. Winds coming off the ocean transport blow sand up the beach, which can become caught in the branches of the trees. Hopefully, by the time the trees are decomposed, they will be buried in migrated sand, thus expanding and strengthening our sand dunes.

What You Can Do To Help Rebuild The Dunes

christmas trees used to help rebuild the dunes

Atlantic Beach Residents –

The AB Public Works Department will be picking up Christmas Trees for Dune Restoration from now until Monday, January 14th. Simply place your Christmas Trees out on your curb and they will come by to pick them up and use them to re-nourish the dunes.

Emerald Isle Residents –

Oceanfront homeowners and residents are permitted to place trees along their dunes to promote sand accretion and are welcome to do the same with any collected from their neighbors. The town asks that you please be careful to not impede on Public Access Points and vehicular accesses on the beach strand.

Other Residents –

The Bogue Banks Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation will be collecting trees at the Eastern Ocean Regional Beach Access (2701 Emerald Drive) up until Friday, January 11th. The group will distribute the trees along the dunes areas most affected by the Hurricane. If you’re unable to bring your tree to the location- send them a message on Facebook and they may be able to come out and pick it up for you.

We Appreciate You Doing Your Part to Help Rebuild the Dunes

Thank you for your help in restoring our shoreline. There are bids out for dredging and re-nourishing the entire beach within the next two years, so with your assistance, we should continue to enjoy a wide and beautiful beach strand for many years to come.

Ocean Safety F.A.Q’s

Ocean Safety- Frequently Asked Questions

These questions and answers were provided by the Emerald Isle Fire Department, who staffs the Lifeguard program throughout the town.


1. How do I know what beach conditions are for Emerald Isle?

  • First you should know that Emerald Isle is ALWAYS at a minimum level of yellow flags. Emerald Isle NEVER flies green flags because we believe that there are always inherent dangers when entering the ocean and you should always use caution. If you want to check to see what current conditions are, go here: https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/rip-currents-and-surfforecast

2. What do the different colored flags mean?

  • GREEN flags indicate that conditions are safe. The Town of Emerald Isle does not fly green flags, as we believe that there are always inherent dangers when swimming in the ocean, therefore it is never completely safe and you should always use caution.
  • YELLOW flags indicate moderate hazards, and that the public should use caution in the ocean. In Emerald Isle, even the calmest of days on the beach can pose an inherent risk when entering the ocean and the public is always advised to use caution.
  • RED flags indicate that there is a high risk of strong currents or other hazards and the public is advised to stay out of the water.
  • DOUBLE RED flags indicate that there is an extremely high risk of strong currents or other hazards and the Town Manager has enacted a prohibition on swimming for our beaches under the authority granted by Town Ordinance Chapter 5 Section 5-25. You can be fined or arrested if you go in the water.
  • PURPLE flags indicate an abundance of potentially hazardous marine life in the vicinity, including Portuguese man-o-war, jellyfish, and other creatures. The town will fly these flags as needed in specific locations, however, the use of PURPLE FLAGS is relatively rare.

3. What if I don’t see a flag from where I am on the beach?

  • Flags are only posted on the beach strand from Memorial Day to Labor Day (during the time when we have
    lifeguards). If you don’t see a flag from where you are on the beach, you should know that the Town of Emerald Isle is NEVER under green flag conditions. So, if you don’t see a flag where you are on the beach then you should check with the Emerald Isle Fire Department or the town website https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/rip-currents-and-surf-forecast to determine our current beach conditions.

4. Why doesn’t the town post flags along the beach all the time and year round? 

  • The only time you will see flags posted along the beach are during the months we have lifeguards patrolling the beach (Memorial Day to Labor Day), and then only when we are under red flag or double red flag conditions.

5. Why is the town reporting conditions that are different from what the National Weather Service is reporting?

  • NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) gathers information for their reports from weather buoys positioned 30 miles off the coast of North Carolina. Emerald Isle town staff evaluate our beach conditions daily and communicate this data to NOAA to
    get the best forecast information possible to provide the public. Most of the time, the conditions we are reporting in Emerald Isle are consistent with the forecast advisories posted by NOAA for all the beaches in our area. However, there are times when the conditions we are experiencing in Emerald Isle may be more severe than what is being reported by NOAA equipment or being experienced by other beaches in our area. In that situation, our flag conditions may be different from the NOAA forecast or even the flags flown in Atlantic Beach. Please know when that happens, it is because we are reporting the most accurate information possible for Emerald Isle to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors.

6. Can’t you get the rental companies to put information in their rental packets for people warning them about the dangers?

  • The town works very closely with all of the major rental companies to get information out to visitors and guests to promote safety in the Town. The rental companies are very proactive in supplying safety information produced by the Town for their guests by putting them in their rental packets, as well as posting information in all of their rental units. This information explains the flags system, rip current information, beach rules and regulations and even has information about nesting sea turtles.

7. Why doesn’t the town position Jet Ski’s on the beach strand?

  • Town staff are constantly working to improve and perfect our response to all concerns in the town. Over many years of testing different approaches, we have found that the quickest response in these situations is achieved by traveling over the roadways to the closest access rather than trying to work our way through hundreds or thousands of people along a crowded beach. Our goal is to get there as quickly as possible to have the greatest chances of conducting a successful rescue.

8. Why doesn’t the town buy speed boats to put along the coastline to perform rescues?

  • The surf conditions, geographical conditions and even weather conditions have molded our rescue practices over the years and we believe that we are currently using the most effective methods for our conditions along our shoreline. Waves and surf conditions along our shoreline make using a boat a dangerous option for rescue situations.

9. What steps is the town taking to educate people on the dangers posed by these conditions?

  • Each department in the town works very hard to get information out to our residents and guests and educate them on the dangers and hazards present in the ocean. Town staff hosts educational programs on beach safety, rip current dangers, and other hazards multiple times per month in an effort to educate beachgoers. The Fire Department is conducting public education classes for schools, locals and visitors specifically focused on water safety. These events are publicized on the Town’s website and other social media platforms. Police and lifeguards patrolling the beach hand out flyers with the flag warnings, rip current information and beach rules and regulations. Beach Patrol units stop and have conversations with hundreds of beachgoers every day when they see someone doing something that may be dangerous, hazardous or illegal to try and keep our beaches and the public safe. The Fire Department presents multiple annual educational classes to the public and administers the lifeguard program for the
    town which includes over 70 hours of training, certifications and testing for each lifeguard. They also monitor beach conditions and administer the flag warning program for our entire town. Town staff constantly evaluate local conditions and communicate and coordinate with NOAA and other agencies to provide the most current information on conditions and warnings present for our residents and guests. We are constantly updating these conditions and posting warnings or information on our digital media platforms (Facebook, town website, text message alerts, etc…) to give residents the information they need to make good decisions. In emergency situations, we frequently put information out to the public through PSA’s, Code
    Red notifications, PA broadcasts along the beach  strand, text messages, alerts and other methods of communication. The town produces thousands of flyers, signs, magnets, newsletters and other informational sources annually to provide to residents and post around town to ensure that the information is available to our residents and guests. Our Parks and Recreation department hands out drink koozies with flag and rip current information to every person that pays to park at one of our public beach accesses. They also provide and upkeep 100 rescue buoys along the beach strand for the public to assist swimmers in trouble if they choose to. Our lifeguards at the East and West Regional Ocean Accesses also have life jackets available for toddlers and children to use that want to borrow them for the day. These are just some of the ways the town employee’s work with local businesses and with the public to try and ensure the safety and security of all our residents and visitors.

10. What can I do if I see someone in trouble?

  • Call 911 before you do anything else! Getting rescue personnel on the way should be the first priority.
  • If you believe that you are an exceptionally good swimmer and are willing to provide assistance, you can grab a flotation device and go in to help if you choose to. NEVER ENTER THE WATER TO CONDUCT A RESCUE WITHOUT  A FLOTATION DEVICE! There are 100 rescue buoys stationed on poles along the beach strand that have been provided by the town to assist those that choose to help in these situations.
  • Swim close enough to the person so that you can toss them the flotation device, but not so close that they can grab you or you will become their flotation device. Talk to them and try to keep them calm until help arrives.

11. When do the lifeguard’s start patrolling the beach?

  • Lifeguards must be United States Lifeguard Association (USLA) certified in order to serve on our beaches. The majority of lifeguards that apply are full-time college students who must complete a 74 hour training process before they can begin working. They cannot begin that process until the spring semester has ended. The earliest that we have been able to get this process completed and the lifeguards working is the week before Memorial Day each year. Our lifeguard program runs from approximately May 20th through September (Labor Day) every year. Stationary lifeguards are located at both the East and West Regional Ocean Accesses and up to 4 roving lifeguards are patrolling the beach strand on a daily basis.

12. Why doesn’t the town have lifeguards year round?

  • In order to have a program that would meet USLA standards, the town would have to post as many as 57 lifeguards on the beach strand daily. This endeavor would be cost prohibitive to the Town and is not practical or prudent even if we could get the requisite number of lifeguards, especially outside of our busy tourist season. The vast majority of our water rescue calls, take place during the months of May through September (tourist season) when people who are not necessarily familiar with the hazards associated with the ocean currents are visiting our beaches. This is the time when our program is active and while we have experienced tragic situations, the program has been extremely successful in completing hundreds of water rescues annually. For example, in 2018, Emerald Isle Lifeguards successfully rescued over 105 people in just 11 days.

13. What other methods has the Town tried to improve rescue operations?

  • Over the years we have tried many different methods to improve our rescue capabilities. We have tested motorized surfboards, used zodiac boats, tested devices that shoot ropes or flotation devices, and even tested drones to drop flotation devices. The current methods that we use are the ones that are consistently successful, reliable and effective for the conditions that we have along our beach, but we are also constantly on the lookout for the latest and greatest rescue aids, equipment or methods that will help us provide the very best assistance we can to those that visit our beaches.

14. Why doesn’t the Town put warnings on the big signs at the bridge? 

  • The digital signs you see when you come across the bridge belong to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, not the Town. We have had many conversations with the NCDOT about using the signs when we have dangerous surf conditions along our beaches to
    warn beachgoers. Our requests have been denied by NCDOT due to regulations that restrict the use of those signs to traffic related messages only. To ensure that we are doing all we can to get the word out, the town uses our own portable message signs to inform people coming across the bridge when we have unusually rough beach conditions, and especially when the beach is under double red flag conditions.

15. What can I do to be safe?

  • Use common sense and take personal responsibility. Check beach conditions before you go out and know what the warning flags mean. If the water looks rough, don’t go in.
  • Obey the warning flags, even if you are an Olympic class swimmer! When we have to stop to address the dangers you are putting yourself in, you are taking our attention away from someone else that may need our help.
  • NEVER ALLOW ANY CHILD TO GO UNATTENDED IN THE WATER! If you are more than a foot away, you are too far away from a child. Ocean currents can be extremely strong and can sweep adults off their feet in knee deep water. Children should always be in a Coast Guard Approved flotation device when in the ocean.
  • Don’t assume that the calmest water is the safest place to swim. The area where you don’t see waves breaking is usually where a rip current is located. If you are unsure about the conditions, ask someone!
  • NEVER SWIM ALONE! Always swim with a flotation device.
  • Marine Life Typical feeding times are at sunrise and sunset, it is not recommended to be in the water at these times. While certain marine life feeds at different times of the day, if you notice a school of fish jumping in the water then a marine predator may be nearby.
  • On calm days where the water appears flat attempt to shuffle your feet while entering the water. We experience an increase of stingray incidents when the ocean becomes flat. Calm waters allow stingrays to settle close to shore, by shuffling your feet when entering the water this disturbs the stingrays and they move away.
  • Emerald Isle on many occasions experiences Portuguese Man-O-War jellyfish along our beach strand. This is due in part to our southern facing beach and our prevailing SW winds. Portuguese Man-O-War looks like blue/purple balloons floating on the surface of the water, their tentacles can reach up to 50′ long. They are wind-driven and can sting both in and out of the water.

16. What if I do get caught in a Rip Current?

  • REMAIN CALM! This is the most important thing you can do. Many drownings that are attributed to rip currents every year are actually caused by a person exhausting themselves fighting against the current and going into cardiac arrest.
  • Let the current take you to the release point. Most rip currents will only take you out a few hundred yards. Relax and float until it releases you and then swim parallel to the shore line. The waves will bring you back in.
  • Waive your arms above your head and yell for help. Someone will see you and call for help. If you are able to swim back towards the shore, do it without exhausting yourself.

Atlantic Beach – Hurricane Relief Workshop

If you missed our first Hurricane Relief Roundtable or are still looking for help fixing your home from storm damage…

We are very excited to be hosting a hassle-free round table session in Atlantic Beach. This event is open to the public, and anyone still suffering from the lasting impacts of storm related property damage is highly encouraged to attend.

The presentation will be held Saturday, March 30th from 9:00 – 11:00 AM at the Atlantic Beach Town Hall (125 W Fort Macon Road, Atlantic Beach, NC 28512)

We look forward to hearing the latest news from an insurance agent, a public adjuster, and other consultants, who will also answer questions you may still have lingering. Linda Rice of Stearns Home Lending will talk about a few options for home loans that can be used to cover rebuilding expenses, as well as options for anyone interested in selling their home “as is”.

Some of the speakers will include:
Linda Rice – Stearns Lending
Jonathan Hughes – East Coast Restruction
Ron Hicks – Public Adjuster
Mike Hancock, Insurance agent, Farm Bureau in Beaufort
Infinity Roofing and Siding

A handful of Bluewater REALTORS® will also be on-hand to provide insight into today’s Real Estate Market, and provide informational assistance to those in need. We will also be passing out a list of reputable companies including roofers.

We’re hoping that this event will help provide some additional resources to anyone still struggling with financing, or finding local service professionals to finish up their jobs and get back into their homes.

Again, this event will be held on Saturday, March 30th from 9-11 AM at the Atlantic Beach Town Hall, which is connected to the AB Fire Station (125 W Fort Macon Road). We had a great turnout the first time we hosted a similar session in Emerald Isle, and know there’s still families in similar situations in the Atlantic Beach area that could benefit from these resources. Refreshments will be served and attendees can register to win a door prize.

If you have any questions about the event, or your business would like to speak during the session- Please reach out to Cathy Sheaffer at (252) 354-2128

Local ans National Organizations Providing Hurricane Florence Relief

We’ve compiled a list of helpful federal, state, and local resources that are here to help anyone still in need of assistance to their property due to Hurricane Florence. Although this list is compiled for those who are struggling to find help during this difficult time- please remember that all of these organizations are in need of assistance and donations all the time- not just during a crisis. If you were fortunate to not have any damage, please consider giving to these programs in any way possible to help your neighbors bounce back from this catastrophic event.

Non-Profit & Government Organizations

NC Baptist Men & Women

Although all big feeding kitchens have closed, this organization is still distributing cleaning supplies, non-perishable items/canned food, diapers, baby formula, etc.. The disbursement of of these items is handled out of their warehouse in Red Springs. The disaster was so big in some areas that they are setting up three different rebuild center sites where volunteers can be housed and fed. Home rebuilding hubs will plan to be in effect for 2-3 years and thousands of volunteers will be called upon to help get as many people back into their homes as possible. To apply for rebuilding assistance from the NC Baptists on a Mission Program, please visit this link and apply today. https://baptistsonmission.org/Mission-Projects/By-Mission-Type/Disaster-Relief/Hurricane-Florence/Homeowner-Assistance

Federal Emergency Management Association

The deadline to apply for FEMA grants is quickly approaching. The organization is also providing temporary housing for those who qualify. To date, the Federal Program as allocated over $743 Million on the Ground in North Carolina to assist over 21,000 families. You can Find Assistance, and Apply Online easily online. If you haven’t already provided your information, or spoken to a representative- please call the FEMA Hlepline at (800) 621-3362 or visit https://www.disasterassistance.gov/

U.S Small Business Administration

The SBA provides a number of different typed disaster loans to those affected from National Disasters. You can apply online for these services by emailing at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visitng https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/ApplyOnline to contact the Customer Service Center by phone, call 1-800-462-7585. Keep in mind that you will have to repay these loans at some point, but they can be a great way to get your home or business back up and running if it’s suffered any damage. These loans are available to anyone, including non-business owners.

Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina

If you were displaced or forced to relocate from Hurricane damages, you may still be able to receive assistance purchasing food for you and your family. Food Bank CENC has coordinated with Partner Agencies across the state, stocking up on food, water and other household supplies. To gather more information on the availability of these programs in your area, visit their website at http://blog.foodbankcenc.org/wordpress/find-help-hurricane-florence/

Free Legal Aid Assistance

A toll-free hotline providing pro-bono legal advice is now available for victims of dectruction from Hurricane Florence. The service is a partnership between the NC Bar Association Young Lawyers Division & FEMA, with additional support provided by the NC Bar Foundation. Anyone in need of assistance can call 1-833-242-3549 and ask for Disaster Legal Services and identify as someone with Hurricane Related property damage within your specific county. The hotline is available weekday between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM.

NC Department of Public Safety

The NC STEP (Sheltering & Temporary Essential Power) Program provides basic and partial repairs to help homeowners with minor Hurricane damage get back into a safe, clean and secure home as quickly as possible. The STEP Program won’t be making complete repairs on your home, but will aim to allow you and your family to return to living in your home so that you all can return to work, school, and other community events. Here is an easy link to sign-up for assistance from the NC STEP program- https://plexosoft.ncstepflorence.com/#/login

 

Local Vendors, Contractors, etc..

Below, we’ve provided our list of qualified local vendors for roofing and Mitigation crews. We hope that this information is beneficial to you, please feel free to share it with your friends and neighbors that also may have suffered from property damage due to hurricane Florence. If there’s anything we can do to be of assistance throughout the recovery process, please let us know.

Bluewater Post-Hurricane Vendor List

 

Hurricane Recovery FAQ: Guests and Homeowners

Hurricane Recovery FAQ: Guests and Homeowners

Bluewater Staff and the Town are working hard to recover our island and answer any questions you may have regarding Hurricane Recovery.

To our Guests and Homeowners: Please see below the list of Frequently Asked Questions following Hurricane Florence.

1. When will your offices be open?

Our offices are now open at this time, 8:30am to 5pm daily

2. When will the curfew be lifted?

There is no curfew at this time

3. How can I file a claim with Travel Insurance?

If you purchased Travel Insurance for your stay – you may contact RedSky about your travel insurance claim at (866) 889-7409 or visit https://trippreserver.com/sun-trip-preserver/

4. Why will no one answer the phone?

Our phone lines are extremely busy during this time. Our staff is working very hard to answer all calls and return messages. Thanks for your patience!

5. When will we be updated about our vacation?

Bluewater will continue to communicate with you via email and the website to keep you updated.

6. Why does the link to my rental property say “not rentable”?

If the status of your rental property says “not rentable” – it could be due to damages, flooding, or power outages preventing access to the property.

7. Are there restaurants and groceries stores open?

The main grocery stores, Publix and Food Lion are open and fully stocked. There are limited restaurants open at this time and only serving limited menus. Please be aware some businesses are only accepting cash at this time due to power and internet outages.

8. Are gas stations open and gas readily available?

The majority of gas stations are open with gas readily available. Please be aware that some gas stations suffered damages on the island and are are closed until further notice.

9. How are the beach accesses?

You are able to reach the beach; however, there has been erosion from the ocean during Hurricane Florence. Please note that some public and private walkways to the beach have suffered damage. Be cautious while using beach accesses.

10. If the property rented does not have beach access, does this make it non-rentable and can I be moved or refunded?

If the dwelling itself is safe and uninhabitable, but the beach access is not available, this does not warrant the property as being uninhabitable. No refund or move is provided. Guests will be asked to sign a waiver that they agree not to use that access and will use the a nearby public access.

11. If I don’t have travel insurance and the property cannot be rented, do I get a refund?

If the property is deemed uninhabitable, Bluewater will need to process a full refund and block the property from rentals until repairs are completed and the property is cleared as safe and habitable. We will be working with the individual property owners to coordinate these refunds.

12. What documentation will be needed to file with Red Sky Insurance?

An email was sent out to guest with travel insurance with information on material needed for filing a claim based on your period of stays.

13. Are roads in North Carolina closed?

For roads closures and updates please visit https://tims.ncdot.gov/tims/#

Final Hurricane Florence Update – C&D Debris Collections Ending

FINAL HURRICANE FLORENCE UPDATE – C&D DEBRIS COLLECTIONS ENDING
Update #34 – Wednesday, November 14 – 10 am
FINAL Hurricane Florence Update
This is the final special update on the Town’s Hurricane Florence recovery efforts.  Please refer to normal Town of Emerald Isle digital communications platforms for periodic updates on various Town services, initiatives, and projects.
Construction and Demolition (C&D) Debris Collections Ending –  
Town Will No Longer Collect C&D Debris at Street Edge
The Town’s contractor is collecting the last remaining piles of C&D debris from photo-documented locations that met the Town’s October 29 deadline, and we expect the contractor to complete all C&D debris collections any day now.
The Town will no longer collect C&D debris from the street edge, and debris collection and disposal is the practical and financial responsibility of the property owner and/or your insurance company.

If you still have construction & demolition debris on your property, there are two options available: 1) Emerald Isle property owners may transport their own debris to a temporary disposal site at Western Park off Old NC 58 in Cedar Point, and there is no fee for disposal, or  2) your personal contractor may transport your debris to the County transfer station off Hibbs Road in Newport (disposal fees apply).

If there are small, remnant pieces of C&D debris at the street edge after collection, please simply rake up any loose debris and deposit it in your trash container for normal trash collection.
The Town is pleased to be ending the debris collection process, and appreciates our property owners’ patience over the past several weeks.
Public Works Department Resumes Normal Vegetative Debris Collection Efforts
Town staff normally collect vegetative debris throughout the Town all year long, and the Town’s two trucks are resuming normal operations.  Town trucks will continue to collect vegetative debris placed at the street edge by our property owners.
The Town’s normal service goal is to complete a full pass of the entire Town each week.  Please note that, due to higher volumes associated with Hurricane Florence vegetative debris, it may take our staff a little longer and they may not achieve our weekly collection goal.  Your patience is appreciated as we work through the expected higher volume of vegetative debris in the coming weeks.
Beach Strand C&D Debris Collection Continues
Unfortunately, the Town’s contractor has experienced numerous mechanical issues with its beach collection equipment, but is finally making progress.  All previously consolidated piles of construction & demolition debris between the Indian Beach town limits and Bogue Inlet Pier have been removed, along with the area along Wyndtree Drive and Inlet Drive near The Point.  The contractor continues to collect consolidated piles of C&D debris between Bogue Inlet Pier and Wyndtree Drive, and we are hopeful this work will be complete by the end of November.
Town Seeking Contractors for Tree Clean-up in Emerald Isle Woods Park and McLean-Spell Park; Contract Awarded for Blue Heron Park
Emerald Isle Woods Park remains closed due to significant tree damage in the park, and Town staff continue to solicit bids for this work.  McLean-Spell Park is open, but also has significant tree damage and should only be used at your own risk.  Town staff also continue to solicit bids for this work.
The Town has executed a contract for tree clean-up in Blue Heron Park, and we look forward to reopening this park very soon.
For more information, or to solicit a bid, please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 252-354-6350 or asanderson@emeraldisle-nc.org .
Beach Nourishment Bids Due November 20
The Town’s engineers, in conjunction with Carteret County and the Town of Indian Beach, are currently soliciting construction bids for the nourishment of approximately 3 miles of ocean beach in eastern Emerald Isle.  Construction bids are due on Tuesday, November 20, and the Town is hopeful that 3 bids will be received.  If fewer than 3 bids are received, NC law will require the Town to re-advertise for an additional period of time, after which any bids may be opened and considered.  Assuming a reasonable bid, the Board may award a construction contract in December, with work beginning sometime in early 2019.
This project covers the same area previously planned for nourishment this winter (between the Indian Beach town limits and the 3000 block; before Florence impacted Emerald Isle), but the scope now includes the replacement of the approximately 617,000 cubic yards of sand lost during Hurricane Florence.  A new ~ 25 ft. wide dune will be constructed in this area, and the flat beach berm will be widened by an additional 40 – 60 feet.  Dune vegetation will also be planted as part of this project.
If the Town does not receive reasonable bids in November, it is likely that this project will be delayed until winter 2019-2020 and combined with a larger project that would also include central and western Emerald Isle.
In total, the Town is seeking approximately $56.7 million from FEMA and the NC Division of Emergency Management to replace approximately 2.2 million cubic yards of sand lost from the Town’s 12 miles of ocean beach during Hurricane Florence.
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.

Hurricane Florence Aftermath

Life is starting to return back to normal after Hurricane Florence brought Category 2 winds to the Crystal Coast. The footprint of Florence left properties with significant siding and roof damage, washed out walkways and many places without power for several days. Although the damage was much less than anticipated, the cleanup and repairs will take months in the hardest-hit areas. Our Bluewater staff appreciates your patience and understanding  as we continuously work to restore our beautiful Coast!

Atlantic Beach

The end of Oceana Pier was destroyed, and wind blew in a wall of Crows Nest Marina. The large U.S flag at the town entrance remained intact. The beach sustained significant erosion.

Fastest wind speed: 112 mph

Highest rainfall: 22.16 inches

Emerald Isle

A couple sections of Bogue Inlet Pier were washed away, and flooding damaged some homes along the coast. Town Officials teamed up with the N.C. Forestry Service and spent a week pumping out water from flooded areas. Business buildings and homes experienced light to moderate damage.

Fastest wind speed: 81 mph

Highest rainfall: 23.49 inches

Local Events Cancelled/Postponed due to Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence hit us hard and the clean-up efforts are well under way along the Crystal Coast and surrounding areas. Unfortunately, there are some area happenings that didn’t have enough time to prepare for the general public to participate. Some events were also rescheduled- which are noted below.

The Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival – Cancelled

It’s with deep regret that we have to report the EIBMF, which would’ve celebrated it’s 3rd year since it’s revival has been cancelled. There is a great deal of cleanup and recovery that needs to take place here on the island before an influx of over 10,000 beach music lovers. We look forward to seeing everyone next year for arguably the best party on the Crystal Coast.

NC Seafood Festival – Postponed

The largest annual festival in North Carolina always brings sights, smells, and sounds to downtown Morehead City. This year will hopefully still be the case- but just a few weeks later in the year. The NC Seafood Festival Board of Directors, comprised of some great local business leaders is working hard to try and get the festivities rescheduled for the first weekend in November. Stay tuned to the official event website for more information on the rescheduling. https://www.ncseafoodfestival.org/

Swansboro Mullet Festival – Postponed

Similar to the NC Seafood Festival, Swansboro officials have decided to postpone the activities until the second weekend in November. With merchants and residents downtown still cleaning up debris and repairing the damages- festival planners determined it was too soon to gather such a large group in such a small area. In an effort to take some good with some bad, the town will host a Mullet Boro Benefit at the Swansboro Rotary Civic Center on Saturday, October 12th from 12-8 PM. Many of the original bands scheduled to play will be in attendance, including the likes of The Tams, and Jim Quick & The Coastline Band. Food Trucks will be available on-site for hungry attendees to purchase a bite, and donations will be raised accepted to benefit local families still suffering from losses due to Florence.

Crystal Coast Con – Cancelled

The 8th Annual Crystal Coast Con, a thrilling Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Gaming experience has unfortunately been cancelled as well. The host of the annual event- Mac Daddy’s Family Entertainment Center is undergoing major renovations as a result of Hurricane Florence. With an action-packed lineup of celebrity guests, dealers and authors, it was impossible to reschedule for a later date. Keep an eye on their website for the 2019 date to be announced later this year! http://www.crystalcoastcon.com/

Fort Macon State Park – Exhibit Rooms Currently Closed

The State Parks System is working hard to open up the Historical Battleground at the East end of Atlantic Beach. Determined to be the most popular State Park in North Carolina last year, Fort Macon will hopefully have their educational centers back up and running better than ever by the end of the year.

Hammocks Beach State Park – Closed Until Further Notice

One of the Crystal Coast’s most hidden gems- Hammock’s Beach State Park will be partially closed while efforts are made to restore the island back to it’s natural landscape. Unfortunately there will be no Ferry Service for the rest of the year, and the kayak launch at the Park is also closed. Camping sites may be back open near the end of October, but campers will have to find their own mode of transportation to the island. Plans to re-open the visitors center and mainland area by October 1st are underway.

Emerald Isle Woods Park – Closed Until Further Notice

Due to significant flooding and down trees, the town of Emerald Isle has decided to temporarily close the park down Coast Guard Road. With more pressing efforts topping the list, the town expects to be able to get into the wooded area within the next few weeks to clear debris and make all necessary repairs. Emerald Isle Woods hosts more than 2 miles of walking trails, a 9 hole Frisbee Golf Course, a Bathhouse/Picnic Area and a soundside kayak launch. Stay tuned to the Town of Emerald Isle’s website and Social Media pages for more info on when the park will be up and running.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all people, businesses, and events still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

Hurricane Florence Information Update #16

Hurricane Florence Update #16: Saturday, September 15, 2018 8:oopm

I BRIDGE OPEN FOR RE-ENTRY PERMIT HOLDERS ONLY AT 1 PM SUNDAY   
Update #13 – Saturday, Sept 15 – 7 pm
 
Emerald Isle Bridge Open for RE-ENTRY PERMIT Holders ONLY at 1 PM Sunday
The Emerald Isle bridge will open for RE-ENTRY PERMIT holders ONLY at 1 pm Sunday.Individuals without a previously-issued Town of Emerald Isle re-entry permit will not be allowed on to the island.  To gain entry, you must display your official re-entry permit, and 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.
Curfew Hours Adjusted at 1 pm Sunday
The Town remains under a 24-hour, Town-wide curfew until 1 pm Sunday.  The curfew will be lifted at 1 pm on Sunday, and it will be legal to move about Emerald Isle at that time.
A new night-hours curfew will be effective at 8 pm Sunday.  Until further notice, the entire Town will be under a curfew from 8 pm to 8 am each night, and it will not be legal to move around Emerald Isle during these hours.
The practical result is that re-entry permit holders will be able to enter Emerald Isle beginning at 1 pm Sunday, and may continue to freely access Emerald Isle until 8 pm on Sunday night.  No one, including re-entry permit holders, will be permitted to enter Emerald Isle after 8 pm on Sundaynight.  When the curfew ends at 8 am on Monday morning, re-entry permit holders will again be permitted to enter Emerald Isle and it will be legal to move about Emerald Isle during the day. The curfew will be in effect again at 8 pm Monday night and remain in effect until 8 am Tuesday, and so on.
Vehicle Access to Areas Along Coast Guard Road May Be Limited West of Dolphin Ridge
Due to significant storm water flooding and electric issues, it may not be possible for vehicles to access subdivisions located west of Dolphin Ridge along Coast Guard Road (Spinnakers Reach, Lands End, Point Emerald Villas, Wyndtree, and The Pointe).
Emerald Isle Remains Without Power; Timetable Uncertain to Restore Power
Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative crews are working hard to restore power as quickly as possible in Emerald Isle, however, individuals returning to Emerald Isle must understand that you may not have power at your home in Emerald Isle for several days.
Emerald Isle May Have Limited Public Water Supply
Bogue Banks Water staff is working hard to ensure adequate water supply in Emerald Isle, however, the impacts from Florence have resulted in a situation where it may be necessary to turn off the public water supply for some period of time.  Individuals returning to Emerald Isle must understand that you may not have potable water at your home in Emerald Isle for several days.  If you do have public water supply at your house, please help us conserve water by NOT washing your homes or vehicles until the public water supply is fully restored.
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 once the bridge is open and the curfew is lifted during daytime hours.  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.
Eastern NC Access Routes Inaccessible – BE SAFE
Individuals returning to Emerald Isle are advised that there are currently no open routes to Emerald Isle that are accessible through eastern North Carolina due to flooding caused by Florence.  Road conditions will likely worsen and improve in the coming days, and for 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!
Emerald Isle Bridge Open to Emerald Isle and Indian Beach Re-Entry Permit Holders ONLY
Indian Beach re-entry permit holders will also be able to enter Emerald Isle, via the Emerald Isle bridge ONLY, at the same time as Emerald Isle permit holders, and will be under identical restrictions as Emerald Isle.  Atlantic Beach permit holders will also be able to enter Atlantic Beach, via the Atlantic Beach bridge ONLY, at the same time, and will be under identical restrictions as Emerald Isle.
Pine Knoll Shores will open to re-entry permit holders at 1 pm on Monday and then be under identical restrictions.
Emerald Isle and Indian Beach re-entry permit holders must use the Emerald Isle bridge ONLY. Atlantic Beach re-entry permit holders must use the Atlantic Beach bridge ONLY.
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 will continue working hard in the coming days to address the remaining 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 pleased to reopen the bridge to re-entry permit holders, and is taking this step to allow our residents and property owners to assess the condition of your property and take appropriate steps to secure your property if necessary.  Please note that only individuals with a previously-issued Town of Emerald Isle re-entry permit will be permitted to enter Emerald Isle, and contractors who do not already have a re-entry permit will be required to wait until Emerald Isle is open to the general public later this week.
Residents and property owners are also advised that there are also significant impacts from Florence in Cape Carteret, Cedar Point, and Swansboro, and there may be limited businesses open with needed supplies.
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.

 

NOAA Hurricane Florence 8pm Update


Hurricane Florence Information Update #17

Hurricane Florence Update #17: Sunday, September 16, 2018 10:00am

IMPORTANT INFORMATION – RE-ENTRY PERMIT HOLDERS MAY RETURN BEGINNING AT 1 PM SUNDAY   
Update #14 – Sunday, Sept 16 – 9 am
 
Emerald Isle Bridge Open for RE-ENTRY PERMIT Holders ONLY at 1 PM Sunday

The Emerald Isle bridge will open for RE-ENTRY PERMIT holders ONLY at 1 pm Sunday. Individuals without a previously-issued Town of Emerald Isle re-entry permit will not be allowed on to the island.  To gain entry, you must display your official re-entry permit, and 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.

Curfew Hours Adjusted at 1 pm Sunday
The Town remains under a 24-hour, Town-wide curfew until 1 pm Sunday.  The curfew will be lifted at 1 pm on Sunday, and it will be legal to move about Emerald Isle at that time.
A new night-hours curfew will be effective at 8 pm Sunday.  Until further notice, the entire Town will be under a curfew from 8 pm to 8 am each night, and it will not be legal to move around Emerald Isle during these hours.
The practical result is that re-entry permit holders will be able to enter Emerald Isle beginning at 1 pm Sunday, and may continue to freely access Emerald Isle until 8 pm on Sunday night.  No one, including re-entry permit holders, will be permitted to enter Emerald Isle after 8 pm on Sunday night.  When the curfew ends at 8 am on Monday morning, re-entry permit holders will again be permitted to enter Emerald Isle and it will be legal to move about Emerald Isle during the day. The curfew will be in effect again at 8 pm Monday night and remain in effect until 8 amTuesday, and so on.
Initial Power Restoration Occurring, Hopefully More Later Today

As of 8 am, power has been restored along NC 58 in limited areas between Coast Guard Road and the “downtown” area.  Carteret-Craven Electric crews and their disaster assistance partners will be working hard throughout Emerald Isle today to restore power as quickly as possible to as many people as possible.

Fortunately, power has been restored to a critical water plant facility near the intersection of Coast Guard Road and NC 58, which will help Bogue Banks Water maintain an adequate water supply in Emerald Isle.  
 
Although Carteret-Craven Electric is making progress, it is important for individuals returning to Emerald Isle to recognize that you may not have power at your home in Emerald Isle for several days.  Please plan accordingly.
Vehicle Access Limited West of Dolphin Ridge on Coast Guard Road
Due to significant storm water flooding, it may not be possible for 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 will be permitted to park vehicles and walk to these areas along the beach, provided there is a safe route and there is ample beach width to walk upon (unfortunately, high tide is at 1:45 pm today, and that may make walking on the beach more difficult).
Water Levels Finally Dropping in Bogue Sound, Archers Creek

We are finally beginning to see some drop in water levels in Bogue Sound and Archers Creek, and this should result in receding water from low-lying areas on the soundside.

Lee Avenue is passable at Archers Creek, and other flooded soundside streets have receded. Reed Drive is flooded by storm water in the general area between East Seaview Drive and Loon Drive (Pacific store), in part because the drainage system for this area could not drain to Archers Creek when the tides were high.  This area appears to be draining better now, and we are hopeful that remaining storm water will soon dissipate.
Please exercise caution driving through any flooded streets.
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),
  • 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
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 once the bridge is open and the curfew is lifted during daytime hours.  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.
Town Has Identified Only One Accessible Route, Most Eastern NC Access Routes Remain Inaccessible – BE SAFE
Individuals returning to Emerald Isle are advised that there is currently, as of 8 am, only one route to Emerald Isle that is believed to be accessible from central North Carolina.  From the Raleigh area, the following route should be passable:
  • US 264 east to Greenville, then
  • NC 43 to Vanceboro, then
  • US 17 to New Bern (avoid downtown New Bern business route, take new western bypass), then
  • US 70 to NC 24, then
  • NC 24 to NC 58 at the Emerald Isle bridge.
Please be advised that road conditions may change quickly, and this route is only believed to be accessible as of 8 am Sunday.  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!

Emerald Isle Bridge Open to Emerald Isle and Indian Beach Re-Entry Permit Holders ONLY
Indian Beach re-entry permit holders will also be able to enter Emerald Isle, via the Emerald Isle bridge ONLY, at the same time as Emerald Isle permit holders, and will be under identical restrictions as Emerald Isle.  Atlantic Beach permit holders will also be able to enter Atlantic Beach, via the Atlantic Beach bridge ONLY, at the same time, and will be under identical restrictions as Emerald Isle.
Pine Knoll Shores will open to re-entry permit holders at 1 pm on Monday and then be under identical restrictions.
Emerald Isle and Indian Beach re-entry permit holders must use the Emerald Isle bridge ONLY. Atlantic Beach re-entry permit holders must use the Atlantic Beach bridge ONLY.
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 will continue working hard in the coming days to address the remaining 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 pleased to reopen the bridge to re-entry permit holders, and is taking this step to allow our residents and property owners to assess the condition of your property and take appropriate steps to secure your property if necessary.  Please note that only individuals with a previously-issued Town of Emerald Isle re-entry permit will be permitted to enter Emerald Isle, and contractors who do not already have a re-entry permit will be required to wait until Emerald Isle is open to the general public later this week.
Residents and property owners are also advised that there are also significant impacts from Florence in Cape Carteret, Cedar Point, and Swansboro, and there may be limited businesses open with needed supplies.
Pictures of Florence Damage
Many have requested that the Town post pictures of Florence’s damage, and the Town has tried to provide representative pictures for public consumption.  Please understand that the Town’s first priority is to protect public safety, provide adequate Police protection, and focus on the significant task of getting Emerald Isle back to normal, and it’s simply not possible for the Town to provide pictures of specifically requested areas.
The Town has been attempting to send a drone up to take pictures for posting on the internet, however, Florence has continued to impact Emerald Isle (and it is STILL raining and windy) ever since Thursday morning.  We will continue to attempt to send a drone up when conditions permit, and post pictures soon thereafter.
Update #12 Not Provided to Email Subscribers
Due to a glitch, the Town’s Update #12 (on Saturday, September 15 at 3 pm) was not delivered to subscribers of the Town’s email newsletter.  This update was, however, posted on the Town’s website, Facebook, Twitter, EI APP, and text message alert system.  We apologize for this issue.
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.

 

NOAA Hurricane Florence 5am Update