Brunswick County’s and all of the state’s barrier islands are under a mandatory evacuation notice as Hurricane Dorian approaches. Caswell Beach and Boiling Spring Lakes have imposed curfews, and the last ferry will leave Bald Head Island at 2:30 p.m. today (Wednesday, September 4).
The Town of Caswell Beach will close at noon today and remain closed until at least Friday. Oak Island Pier, the recreation center, the Par 3 golf course and other recreation facilities will close at noon Wednesday and remain closed Thursday. Oak Island town offices will be closed Thursday.
Brunswick County government and court offices are closed through Friday.
Southport in state of emergency
The City of Southport declared a state of emergency beginning Tuesday at 7 a.m. A voluntary evacuation order was issued for waterfront properties, low-lying or flood-prone areas, and mobile homes or manufactured housing.
The emergency operation center opened Wednesday at 8 a.m. Extra fire and emergency medical services crews are stationed at the fire headquarters. The city will be using a drone, provided by Brunswick Community College, to check on areas throughout the storm.
Residents who evacuate should take an ID or city bill with their address. In the case the city closes due to damages, these documents will be needed for re-entry.
More decisions will be made, likely on Wednesday, regarding a potential curfew and city office hours as well as road, pier, dock and park closures.
Caswell Beach’s curfew begins at 8 p.m. Wednesday and will be imposed until 6 a.m. Thursday. The same curfew also applies Thursday and Friday nights.
Brunswick County Schools
There is no school for Brunswick County students Wednesday and it is an optional workday for staff. Schools will close for both teachers and students on Thursday and Friday.
See Dorian, page 10A
Three shelters open
Brunswick County is operating three shelters, one at North Brunswick High School at 114 Scorpion Drive in Leland, one at West Brunswick High School at 550 Whiteville Road in Shallotte and one at South Brunswick High School in Boiling Spring Lakes. All shelters allow pets. A list of items to bring and avoid bringing to the shelter are listed on brunswickcountync.gov/dorian.
St. James prepares
Mayor Jean Toner issued a state of emergency and a voluntary evacuation of flood-prone and low-level areas on Wednesday at noon. The town offices are closed Thursday and Friday, and yard debris is canceled for the week.
The emergency management team is working out of its new center on the second floor of the new fire substation on Oceanic Drive.
A temporary debris management site is ready and the debris contractor is on standby.
Oak Island warns residents
Oak Island Town Manager David Kelly said Tuesday that town staff had been busy getting trash and recycling containers off the beaches.
Town crews have been checking utilities, filling generators and vehicles with fuel and reducing the flow of wastewater to the satellite plant, which provides irrigation for Oak Island Golf Course. Workers have also lowered the water level at the golf course ponds, he said.
Kelly said that he’s been in frequent contact with Brunswick County leaders to stay abreast of any issues with the water and sewer systems.
Residents who elect to stay should be aware that if the electric power goes out or if there is significant flooding, Oak Island may have to shut down the water and/or sewer systems. If this happens, it is important for those who remain to use as little water as possible and to avoid flushing toilets, because there is a danger the waste could back up and damage homes.
Also, those who remain on the island should know that firefighters and emergency medical personnel may not be able to respond to calls if there are strong winds, flooding or roads blocked by debris.