Eye of Florence Now Approximately 80 Miles South-Southeast of Emerald Isle
As of 5 pm, the center of Hurricane Florence is located approximately 80 miles south-southeast of Emerald Isle. The Category 2 storm currently has maximum winds of 100 mph and is moving west-northwest at 5 mph. In Emerald Isle, winds are generally steady in the 30 - 40 mph range, with gusts in the 60 mph+ range. Emerald Isle has received about 2 inches of rain thus far from Florence.
Florence is currently forecast to make landfall near Wrightsville Beach tomorrow morning around 8 am with winds of 90 mph. The projected maximum sustained winds continue to decrease with each forecast, and we are hopeful that Florence will continue to weaken as it moves closer to Emerald Isle. The eye of Florence is still forecast to pass approximately 40 miles due south of Emerald Isle at approximately midnight tonight.
Tropical storm force winds are currently occurring in Emerald Isle, and are expected to continue into Saturday morning. Hurricane force winds are expected to begin in Emerald Isle around 7 pm this evening, and continue into early Friday afternoon.
Minimal Damage Thus Far from Florence
Fortunately, there are no reports of significant damage to structures thus far, with a few trees down here and there. The water levels on the beach and in Bogue Sound are very high. There are no known dune breaches, but the ocean is covering the flat beach strand. Bogue Sound has risen into some low lying soundfront areas. Archers Creek is rising, and is nearly over Lee Avenue. We expect even higher water levels as the center of Florence passes closer to Emerald Isle, and Florence's closest position will likely occur very near high tide tonight (11:21 pm).
Many Power Outages in Emerald Isle
Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative offers a real-time map of power outages in Carteret County, and it can be viewed at http://outage.carteretcraven.coop/ . As of 5 pm, according to the map, it appears that more than 2/3 of the homes in Emerald Isle are without power. Carteret-Craven crews will be working hard after the storm to restore power as quickly as possible.
Emerald Isle Bridge Is Closed, Curfew In Effect
Due to the significant danger posed by Florence, Emerald Isle is under a curfew, and the Emerald Isle bridge is closed. No one will be allowed to enter Emerald Isle until further notice. The curfew will remain in effect for the duration of Hurricane Florence, until further notice. During the curfew, it is illegal for anyone to leave their own property and travel anywhere within Emerald Isle.
After the storm ends, Town officials will assess the conditions in Emerald Isle and make decisions based on public safety. Due to the fact that Florence is expected to stall somewhat, and the projected significant impacts on Emerald Isle on both Thursday and Friday, it is possible that the bridge will be closed for multiple days, and perhaps longer depending on the impacts on the ground.
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 to enter the Town. This information will be disseminated on the Town's various digital platforms listed below when these decisions have been made.
Important Info - Town Facilities and Services
All Town facilities are closed until further notice. Police, Fire, and EMS services will continue to be provided as long as they can respond safely, however, individuals remaining in Emerald Isle must realize that emergency personnel may not respond during the height of the storm's impacts or if damage makes it impossible for them to reach you.
The Town works hard to keep our residents, property owners, and visitors well-informed, and offers several platforms.
The Town will provide frequent additional updates on Hurricane Florence (as warranted) in the coming days. 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.