Update #29 - Wednesday, October 3 - 10 am
Additional Hurricane Florence Updates as Warranted
This update is a periodic update on the Town's recovery efforts associated with Hurricane Florence. Additional updates will be distributed periodically as new information becomes available that may be helpful to our residents, property owners, businesses, and visitors.
Please note that the official information from the Town of Emerald Isle is always posted at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/ (click on "Latest News" in the bottom left hand corner of the main page), and the most recent post regarding Florence contains accurate information. As additional information becomes available that is new, different, or updated, it will be distributed through all of the Town's digital platforms and posted on the Town's website.
Aerial Mosquito Spraying Scheduled for Friday Night
Carteret County has arranged for aerial mosquito spraying in many areas of the County, including Emerald Isle, and this aerial spraying will occur this Friday night into early morning hours on Saturday.
The pesticide that will be sprayed in Emerald Isle is Deltagard, and information about this approved product is available at the following link: https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/Data/Sites/1/media/pdfs/deltagard.pdf . Planes will be flying approximately 300 feet above the ground surface, and will release the pesticide at approved application rates. It is anticipated that all of Emerald Isle will be complete within a couple hours or less, sometime during the dark hours on Friday night into early Saturday morning.
The Town is hopeful that Friday night's aerial spraying will effectively minimize the mosquito population in Emerald Isle. If necessary, the Town will begin additional ground spraying activities in the following days and weeks.
In addition to mosquitoes, aerial spraying is harmful to bees. Helpful information for beekeepers is included at the following link: http://www.colonialbeekeepers.com/index.php/education-information-mainmenu-43-43/91-protecting-bees-against-aerial-spraying .
The Town is thankful for Governor Cooper releasing funds for mosquito spraying, and for Carteret County working to organize a larger effort in our County.
Beach Driving Permitted from 7 am - 7 pm Only
Due to the presence of many consolidated debris piles along the dune escarpment, the presence of numerous "gullies" on the beach strand, and the narrow width of the beach strand in certain areas at high tide, the Town is allowing beach driving during daylight hours only until further notice. Beach driving is currently permitted from 7 am - 7 pm only. A decision to revert back to the normal 5 am - 9 pm hours will be considered after all debris is removed from the beach strand. The Town's debris contractor is expected to begin removal of the consolidated debris piles along the dune escarpment on Thursday.
More Debris Trucks Added, Significant Volume Collected Already
The Town's debris contractor now has 15 crews dedicated to Emerald Isle. To date, the Town's contractor has collected more than 66,000 cubic yards of debris, and is now averaging nearly 6,000 cubic yards per day. The Town has already incurred more than $500,000 of debris collection expense, however, the Town expects FEMA to reimburse the vast majority of this expense. Slowly but surely, the debris piles are disappearing, but there is a still a lot left to be collected. Thank you for your patience as our crews work to collect as much debris as quickly as possible.
As reported in previous updates, Emerald Isle residents who do not want to wait for the Town's contractor to collect debris from the street edge may transport their own debris to a newly established temporary disposal site at Western Park off Old NC 58 in Cedar Point. Additionally, Carteret County has now established a procedure for your personal contractor to deliver your personal debris to the County's temporary disposal site on NC 58 near Peletier Loop Road, however, the property owner must complete the form in the following link and have the contractor present the form when disposing of debris - https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/Data/Sites/1/media/pdfs/vegetative-storm-debris-self-haul-form.pdf . Please note that there is no disposal fee at the County's temporary disposal site, so your personal contractor should not be charging you a fee for disposal.
For street edge collection by the Town's contractor, please help us complete the collection of debris in the most efficient and safe manner by adhering to the following instructions:
- 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),
- tree and limb debris segments should be no longer than 12 feet,
- please place discarded appliances in a separate location at the street edge,
- 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,
- do not dispose of household hazardous waste at the street edge, and
- please note that it is illegal to burn debris within the Town.
Please be mindful of your neighbors, and place your debris on the street right-of-way in front of your own property, and not on your neighbor's property. Also, please do not transport your debris to another neighborhood simply because you are impatient, and consider how you would feel if others brought their debris to your neighborhood. Additionally, DO NOT take debris to Town facilities, as these facilities are being used and/or will soon be used by others in our community for their intended purpose.
The Town expects debris collection to continue for the next several weeks, and our goal is to collect all debris no later than the end of October.
Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day Rescheduled for October 27
The Coastal Environmental Partnership has rescheduled the household hazardous waste and electronics collection day for Carteret County for Saturday, October 27 from 8 am to 1 pm. The drop-off site is the Carteret County Health Department, located at 3820 Bridges Street in Morehead City.
Emerald Isle residents can dispose of the following items: latex and oil paints, used motor oil, farm pesticides, gasoline, drain openers, paint thinners, cooking oil, antifreeze, batteries, lawn and garden fertilizer, and pesticides.
Items not accepted include: commercial waste, gas cylinders, explosives, ammunition, or infectious, biological, or radioactive waste.
Please visit the following link for more information: http://www.cepnc.org/hazardous-waste.html .
Town Services, Other Information
The normal trash collection schedule, including Wednesday recycling, is now in effect.
The Town Administration Building is open during normal business hours (Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm).
The Community Center is open during normal business hours. Please call the Community Center at 252-354-6350 for information on special classes.
There are no steps to the beach at the Eastern Ocean Regional Access, and there is no safe access to the beach strand. The parking area and bathroom facilities are open.
Emerald Isle Woods Park received extensive damage from Hurricane Florence, and will be closed indefinitely.
McLean-Spell Park also received damage, and should be used at your own risk until tree debris can be removed.
The Emerald Isle Fire Department's Open House, scheduled for October 6, has been cancelled.
The Neighborhood Watch Program's Golf With a Cop event, scheduled for October 20, has been cancelled.
Inventory of Open Beach Accesses
A list of beach accesses that remain open for public use after Hurricane Florence is located at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/public-ocean-accesses-open-post-hurricane-florence . All other accesses not included on this list sustained damage that prevents safe use by the public, and Town staff will be working diligently to complete and/or contract for the necessary repairs in the coming weeks and months. Thank you for your patience and understanding while we work to make these accesses better than they were before!
Town Will Continue to Work Hard to Repair Town Facilities and Infrastructure, But Long Process Ahead
Damages to Town facilities and infrastructure include significant beach erosion, public beach access walkway damage, leaky roofs on Town buildings, storm water pipe failures, downed trees in parks, bike path damage, street failures, soundside public pier damage, missing or compromised street signs, damaged benches, burned out or damaged street lights, street washouts, and more. Fortunately, the Town expects to receive significant public assistance funding from FEMA to repair, restore, and/or replace these facilities and infrastructure. It will likely take several months, and perhaps more than a year to complete all work.
Gradually, and eventually, we'll get everything fixed and have these facilities and infrastructure back to normal, and likely better in many cases. However, it will take some time and likely create some inconvenience, and the Town greatly appreciates your patience and understanding!
Be Careful Using the Public Boating Access Facility
The Town's contractor has removed significant pier debris from the entrance canal at the Emerald Isle Public Boating Access Area, making it easier for boats to travel from Bogue Sound to and from the ramp area. A preliminary review of the basin and canal did not identify any obvious submerged objects, however, boaters are urged to exercise caution while travelling in the canal and basin, and are also asked to report any submerged debris to the Town at 252-354-3424. Boaters should also note that many navigation markers may be displaced, and should use caution in unfamiliar waters.
Be Careful on the Bike Path!
Much of the NC 58 and Coast Guard Road bike path is clear enough for public use, but debris remains in scattered areas, particularly along Coast Guard Road (where large vegetative piles, standing water, and washed out sand remain in some areas of the path). Town staff and the Town's debris contractor are working to remove this debris this week in an effort to restore the path to full use. In the meantime, please feel free to use the path at your own risk, but be aware of obstructions and be safe moving around these obstructions.
Emerald Isle Baptist Church Coordinating Local Relief Efforts
Emerald Isle Baptist Church is coordinating local relief efforts in Emerald Isle, and we are grateful for their assistance. The Church is serving as an assistance, referral, and information center for those in need in our community and for those who wish to contribute to others. Anyone in the Emerald Isle community in need of special recovery assistance, and those seeking information on available contractors for clean-up and repairs may contact the Church for assistance and information.
The Church will also serve as a collection point for supplies needed in Emerald Isle, Morehead City, and DownEast Carteret County. Items requested include cleaning products, diapers, baby formula, and paper products. (At this time, please do not donate clothing.) The Church will also accept cash, check, and gift card donations for those in need. Please call 252-354-8795 or 252-424-2349 for assistance or information.
Soundside Pier Debris
Many private soundside piers were damaged during Hurricane Florence, and there is a significant volume of pier debris along the Bogue Sound and Archers Creek shorelines. Please note that it is the responsibility of the waterfront property owner to remove all debris from the shoreline on your property. The Town's contractor will collect the pier debris, free of charge, from the street right-of-way adjacent to your property. It is the property owner's responsibility to move this debris from the shoreline to the street right-of-way.
Planned Beach Nourishment Project To Be Considered Later In October
New, post-Florence beach profile survey work has been completed, and data will be analyzed by coastal engineers in the next few weeks. After the volume of sand lost as a result of Hurricane Florence is determined, the Town will submit a claim for FEMA assistance to replace the lost sand.
The Town and County had been actively planning a significant beach nourishment project for eastern Emerald Isle that was scheduled for construction this coming winter. Ironically, the bid solicitation for this work was scheduled to be released shortly after Hurricane Florence impacted Emerald Isle. Because of the significant beach erosion caused by Hurricane Florence, the bid solicitation has been delayed until the actual Florence losses are determined. The Town will need to consider various issues, including the actual volume lost, the likely expansion of the project area in Emerald Isle, permit issues, timing issues, dredge availability, the typical April 30 permit deadline to complete these projects, and FEMA input in finalizing the construction scope and schedule. A decision on the revised scope and schedule of the beach nourishment project will be made in late October.
The Town will be working hard to secure a beach nourishment contractor to complete a meaningful beach nourishment project in Emerald Isle this winter, however, depending on the resolution of these issues, it may be necessary to delay nourishment until winter 2019-2020. The Town does NOT want to delay the project, and will be working hard to construct a project this coming winter.
FEMA Opens Disaster Recovery Center in Morehead City
FEMA has opened a local Disaster Recovery Center at the Carteret County Health Department, and it is open daily from 9 am - 7 pm. FEMA staff are available to assist individuals and small businesses with the recovery process. For more information, please call the Carteret County Health Department at 252-728-8550 or visit https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4294-4297/updates/fact-sheet-what-femas-individual-assistance-program to learn more about this program.
Board of Commissioners to Consider Amendment to Allow Temporary Use of Recreational Vehicles for Temporary Housing While Florence Repairs Completed
The Board of Commissioners will conduct a public hearing and consider the temporary use of recreational vehicles for temporary housing at its October 9 regular Board meeting. The ordinance amendment under consideration would allow a property owner to utilize an RV on their residential property for a short time period (generally 3 - 6 months) while repairs necessitated by Hurricane Florence (or any future significant hurricanes) are performed. The Board expressed preliminary support for this amendment at its emergency meeting on September 24, and a formal decision is expected on October 9 at 6 pm.
Board of Commissioners Approves Waiver of Permit Fees, CAMA Permit Fees Also Waived for Water-Dependent Structures
In an effort to reduce the financial burden on our property owners, the Board of Commissioners has waived all Town permit fees for repairs necessary due to damage from Hurricane Florence. This permit fee waiver will remain in effect until December 1. Building permits are still required for all repair work, however, no permit fees will be charged. Permit fees will continue to be collected for work not attributed to Hurricane Florence.
Additionally, the NC Division of Coastal Management has also waived all CAMA permit fees for docks, piers, and other water-dependent structures, and has established a streamlined permit process for structures that are replaced with an identical structure. CAMA permits are still required, however, repair of structures damaged less than 50% may qualify for an exemption.
Be Careful When Selecting Repair Contractors
Unfortunately, there are always some dishonest individuals preying on disaster victims after an event like Hurricane Florence. Please be careful when selecting repair contractors!
Emerald Isle residents and property owners are advised to perform adequate background and reference checks to insure you are dealing with a reputable company or repairman. It is always helpful to secure multiple price quotes and compare contractors.
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.