HURRICANE FLORENCE UPDATE: WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 AT 10:30 AM
FROM TOWN OF KURE BEACH EMERGENCY MANAGER – David Heglar
As you see our employees and volunteers in the community – please thank them – they worked tirelessly in challenging conditions for the past week. Some of them only got to check their homes and the homes of their families in the last day or so and at least one had a total loss due to the inland flooding and the loss of pets. Recognize that we are blessed to have not had any injuries and while some of us have repairs to do to on our property, as a community we are fortunate.
With our fortune comes a bit of responsibility. Please evaluate your situation, and if you can, make a donation to the charity of your choice to assist the many more unfortunate than ourselves. That is how you can recognize the efforts of our team – by donating in honor of the TOWN OF KURE BEACH EMPLOYEES AND VOLUNTEERS. I can speak for our team when I say that we would want you to help someone else in honor of our work for the Town of Kure Beach.
I had the opportunity yesterday to visit the Harrell’s Volunteer Fire Department who have been engaged in flood water rescue inland. As with all Volunteers, they are committed and working tirelessly for their fellow citizens. As I was there, they were setting up another Landing Zone for National Guard helicopters who were bringing in 12 more rescues from the floodwaters. They have been doing this, as well as performing rescues on the ground in flood areas for the past 5 days. I got to take them water, and coffee (which they had run out of 2 days ago) and had a cup of coffee with their Fire Chief. If you cannot find a charity to support, I encourage you to consider them, or randomly pick a rural volunteer Fire Department in the flood areas. I know they will put the money to good use helping their citizens.
Finally – a reminder of the Town’s priorities during the storm – which were considered in every decision that was made in our response:
Life Safety – including Emergency Personnel
Protecting Emergency response (includes access) and public property
Restoration of services – priority is water pressure (Firefighting, re-certification of water systems), sewer (prevent overflow and subsequent health concerns), electrical (with Duke Energy support)
Ensuring private property is protected
Restoration of public access to property
From my perspective as your emergency manager, we executed per our plan and stayed true to our priorities. No Emergency personnel or citizens were injured during the storm. Following the storm access for Emergency Response to the entire town was restored by Public Works and the Police and Fire Departments. Our Public Works Department maintained our water system during the entire storm, tirelessly pumped lift stations with generators to ensure no sewage was in our streets and we worked closely with Duke Energy to restore electricity. I personally watched in the night of the high rain, our Public Works team standing in knee deep and higher water in driving rain clearing storm water drains after 2 days of running around doing our higher priorities. The town staff did all that was possible to protect private property. And finally, we restored access to our residents and the public as soon as we safely could.
The Town Council will be discussing the storm actions and evaluating how our team performed and how we can improve at the next regular council meeting. Staff will be working to file all of the required reporting to the County, State and National agencies. As we return to normal, recognize that there are many without air conditioning or shelter throughout our region. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
For any residents who are still without power, call Duke Energy Progress at 800-419-6356 to report it. The Duke Power team is assigning work based on logged reports in the area. Recognize that they have a priority system and will assign crews as they can. Report any downed power lines (not cable or phone) to 911 and the Fire Department will come out to ensure it is safe.
When you return home and evaluate your property, IF you have damage that you estimate exceeds $1,000, email John Batson (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that he can visit, assess and report to FEMA as required. Also contact your insurance company to file your claims.
Public Works will be picking up garbage for the next three days, so make sure to fill your cans with all the stuff that stinks. Public Works will not pick up anything other than garbage until the beginning of next week. Schedule will be provided next week for yard debris and damaged building materials.
That being said, please remember that many areas experienced significant damage, including areas of our beach that experienced extreme beach erosion. Please use caution in all parts of town. Do not cross caution tape areas as these are barricaded due to safety concerns.
Our Town will follow the curfew as directed by New Hanover County. When New Hanover County lifts its curfew, we will assess the situation and communicate the status of this issue. Police will continue to patrol in order to prevent unauthorized curiosity. This is to protect the property of our citizens that continue to be challenged in returning.
Local media has communicated the stores that are open, however the supply system is still a bit stressed. I would recommend conserving gasoline until you hear from New Hanover County that it is not in short supply. Alcohol sales will be at the discretion of our business owners until the curfew hours. Please plan to bring the supplies you need.
Town Hall will open on Monday, September 24, 2018 under normal business hours, beginning at 9 AM. As you return, please make sure to stop by Public Works, the Police Department, the Fire Department, and Town Council and staff to thank them for their hard work and dedication throughout this event.