Debris Collection Efforts Ramping Up, Additional Crews Working in EI
The Town's contractor continues debris collection from the street right-of-way, and is making good initial progress. As of today, the contractor is now operating with a total of 6 debris collection crews, and 3 more crews are expected to begin work on Monday. Several debris collection trucks are double-capacity, with collection volumes up to 87 cubic yards per load - that's a big truck!
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.
If you do not want to wait for the Town's contractors to arrive, and want to transport your own debris, you may take vegetative debris to the temporary Carteret County disposal site located at 1494 Highway 58 in Peletier. This site is located near the elevated water tank in Peletier, and is open from 7 am - 7 pm every day. You may also take construction and demolition debris and discarded furnishings to the regular Carteret County Convenience Site located on Fire Tower Road near the intersection of NC 58 / Old Church Road / Fire Tower Road ( http://www.carteretcountync.gov/470/Solid-Waste-Recycling ) . There is no charge for Emerald Isle residents to take debris to these two sites.
Please note that it is illegal to burn debris within the Town.
Town Requests Aerial Mosquito Spraying
With all of the standing water in Emerald Isle, we are bracing for a significant mosquito problem in the coming days. Because the Town's ground-spraying capabilities are limited, the Town has submitted a formal request to the State Emergency Operations Center for aerial mosquito spraying. We hope to receive an answer on this request in the next few days.
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.
Most Streets Cleared of Significant Street Flooding
The Town has been pumping flooded streets ever since Hurricane Florence ended, and we have made great progress over the past week. With the exception of the Lands End subdivision, nearly all streets in Emerald Isle are passable by nearly all types of vehicles, although there may be some small amount of water remaining over the road in some locations.
Please note that it may still be be necessary to drive through a few inches of water in the following areas: Ocean Drive in the general vicinity of Hurst Drive, Ocean Drive in the vicinity of Deer Horn Drive, Wyndtree Drive, Channel Drive, Shipwreck Lane in the vicinity of Colonel Hanson Court, and along the edges of Coast Guard Road. The Town continues pumping operations, and either already has pumps operating in these locations or will soon deploy additional pumps. In some cases, the Town has already pumped down certain areas, only to see groundwater seep back in and re-flood these areas. The Town will continue to operate pumps in these areas until water levels stabilize.
The Town continues to assist the Lands End subdivision with significant flooding issues. Thankfully, water levels are dropping as a result of enhanced pumping activities, however, groundwater recharge presents an additional challenge in this area. Several streets in Lands End remain impassable for all but high-clearance vehicles. The Town hopes to have all streets in Lands End passable in the next day or two, at which time pumping will cease.
The Town's focus is on removing storm water from streets to enable vehicles to travel safely and efficiently through these areas, and the Town simply does not have the resources to deploy pumps to the hundreds of private properties with standing water in yards. There remain hundreds of homes with significant standing water in yards or over septic drain fields, and, unfortunately, all of us will simply need to wait for the water to gradually soak into the ground. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Avoid Contact With Standing Water
Hundreds of homes in Emerald Isle have standing water in residential yards, many of which include on-site wastewater systems. Residents are advised to avoid contact with standing water if at all possible, and if contact can not be avoided, wash affected body parts and clothing soon after exposure.
Flood waters or standing waters may contain potentially dangerous materials, such as sewage and chemicals. Exposure to flood waters can also cause infections or result in injuries. Buildings or facilities that have been damaged by or exposed to flood waters may also pose health risks from mold, chemicals, electrical hazards, and displaced animals. Please visit the Centers for Disease Prevention (CDC) website for cautionary steps to take under these conditions - https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/extreme-weather/floods.html .
MCAS Cherry Point Marines Continue to Assist with Beach Cleanup
Another team of 29 US Marines from MCAS Cherry Point assisted Town staff with the collection of debris on the beach strand and in the dunes on Sunday. Today's efforts focused primarily in the area near The Point, where most of the wooden debris appears to have washed ashore in Emerald Isle. Thanks again to MCAS Cherry Point!
Beach Driving Decision Expected Later This Week
Town staff will continue beach cleanup operations this week, and we hope to have the entire 12 miles of beach suitable for beach driving later in the week. An announcement will be included in a future Hurricane Florence Update.
Getting A Little Bit Closer to "Normal" in Emerald Isle
Many people in Emerald Isle are hard at work removing damaged materials from homes and collecting vegetative debris, and are slowly getting at least a little bit closer to "normal". Some in Emerald Isle experienced very little damage, and are helping their neighbors clean up.
Most Emerald Isle businesses are open, and are happy to serve our community again. Some lucky folks are also able to finally take a break and relax on the beach! Although much work remains to get all the way back to "normal", we're all getting a little bit closer each day.
Emerald Isle Baptist Church Coordinating Local Relief Efforts
Beginning Monday, September 24, Emerald Isle Baptist Church will be coordinating local relief efforts. The Church will serve 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.
Two Reliable Travel Routes to Emerald Isle
Travel from the Raleigh area (or other nearby points) is possible by two routes. It remains possible to travel on I-40 east to NC 24 east, through Jacksonville and then on to Emerald Isle. It is also possible to travel via US 264 east to Washington, then US 17 south to New Bern, followed by US 70 east to Morehead City, and then NC 24 west to Emerald Isle.
Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival Cancelled
For many reasons associated with Hurricane Florence, the Town has decided to cancel the 3rd annual re-boot of the iconic Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival (originally scheduled for September 29). This great annual event will be back in 2019, so mark your calendars for September 28, 2019!
Town Services, Other Information
The normal trash collection schedule is now in effect, however, recycling will not be collected on Wednesday, September 26 due to hurricane damage at the recycling facility.
The Town Administration Building is open during normal business hours (8 am - 5 pm).
The Community Center is open during normal business hours. The AfterSchool Program will not operate this week, however, a special all day program is available to AtfterSchool Program participants on Tuesday from 7:30 am - 5:30 pm. Blue Heron Park tennis courts remain closed.
Emerald Isle Woods Park received extensive damage from Hurricane Florence, and will be closed indefinitely.
The Planning Board Meeting scheduled for September 24 is cancelled.
Carteret County Schools are closed all week from September 24 - 28.
Town of Emerald Isle Updates on Hurricane Florence Will Now Be Daily
The Town will now provide one daily update about our recovery efforts, and the daily update will generally be distributed in late afternoon or early evening hours.
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.