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Hurricane Florence made landfall south of Wilmington earlier this morning, and continues to move west toward South Carolina. In Emerald Isle, we continue to experience tropical storm force winds, with occasional gusts in the 50 - 60 mph range. Tropical storm force winds are expected for the rest of Friday. The Town has recorded in excess of 11 inches of rain at the Town Government complex thus far, with locally higher amounts likely in some areas of Emerald Isle. Additional rain is expected for several more hours.
Significant Impacts in Emerald Isle
Emerald Isle was under hurricane-force winds almost all of last night, with significant rainfall, and high tide occurred at 11:21 pm last night. The combination of these forces has resulted in significant impacts overnight, and the entire Emerald Isle community has a lot of hard work in front of us in the coming days.
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- Power is out everywhere in Emerald Isle, and it is likely to be several days before it is fully restored. Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative is already dispatching crews to Emerald Isle this morning. To view a real-time map of power outages in the CCEC service area, please visit http://outage.carteretcraven.coop/ .
- Most homes have relatively minor shingle and/or siding damage. There are also several homes with blown out windows and doors, several homes with damage from falling trees, and a very small number of homes with significant structural damage that are not habitable. It is also likely that many homes have suffered some degree of rainwater intrusion that is not visible from the outside. A full and complete damage assessment is underway, and the Town will be able to provide more specific details later this weekend.
- There is significant tree damage in Emerald Isle, with several roads completely blocked. Town crews have already cleared multiple large trees from Coast Guard Road to make it passable, and are working to ensure that all other neighborhoods have at least one passable access route. Town staff will be working continuously on this effort.
- The Town previously awarded pre-positioned vegetative debris contracts, and will be activating these contracts as soon as possible to begin the removal of the significant volume of tree debris. We plan to begin collection efforts early next week.
- The Town experienced significant soundside flooding, and low-lying homes on the soundfront have water in lower levels. Due to high water levels in Bogue Sound, which is still covering many piers, it has not been possible to determine the extent of soundside pier damage.
- The Town appears to have sustained significant beach erosion, and has lost most of the initial frontal dunes. Fortunately, there are no known dune breaches, and the Town's extensive system of dunes, promoted by significant beach nourishment efforts in the past, appears to have effectively protected the oceanfront structures and infrastructure. The Town's beach surveying contractors will be on the beach this weekend to fully document the extent of beach erosion.
- Many beach access walkways remain intact, however, many in eastern Emerald Isle are damaged to the point that it will not be possible to access the beach strand in these areas until new walkway steps are constructed. Ash Wallet Tri HOBO Fold Rachel xwOSg6Rq
- Bogue Inlet Pier is mostly intact, with only a couple of small sections missing from the pier. The main observation deck at the end is still intact.
It is important to note that Hurricane Florence continues to impact Emerald Isle, and the assessment described above was limited to visible impacts earlier this morning. The Town will continue to update the extent of these impacts in future updates in the coming hours and days.
Although the impacts in Emerald Isle are significant, overall the Town is BLESSED that the impacts are not worse. Fortunately, the intensity of Florence diminished greatly before it reached Emerald Isle, and our community could be facing much, much worse.
Emerald Isle Bridge Will Remain Closed on Friday, and Likely Beyond
It is not yet safe for property owners or the general public to return to Emerald Isle, and it may take several days to make it safe. The Emerald Isle bridge will remain closed until further notice, and no one will be allowed to enter Emerald Isle until further notice.
The Emerald Isle bridge will NOT OPEN on Friday, and future decisions will be made on a day-to-day basis depending on conditions on the ground.
The Town remains under a Town-wide curfew, and the curfew will remain in effect until it is safe for the public to travel around Emerald Isle.
The curfew will be lifted and the bridge will be reopened only when Town officials have determined that it is safe for property owners, residents, and the general public. Public safety is the Town's top priority. Information about the bridge and the curfew will be disseminated on the Town's various digital platforms listed below as soon as these decisions are made.
All of us at the Town understand everyone's concerns about their property and your desire to return to Emerald Isle as soon as possible, and all of us are working as hard as we possibly can to allow you to do that safely. We thank you for your patience and your understanding as we work to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Nice Matters!
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.