Remind Yourself How Great Emerald Isle Is!
The entire Emerald Isle community is working hard to get life back to normal as soon as possible, and Emerald Isle will definitely be back better than ever!
For a nice reminder of how great our community is, check out this great slide show prepared by Emerald Owl Productions at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pwjs-odAUtE&feature=youtu.be , and also check out this video to see for yourself why nice matters in Emerald Isle - https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/see-for-yourself-why-nice-matters-in-emerald-isle- .
Pumping Operations Nearly Complete, No More Ocean Discharges
The Town is winding down pumping operations, as nearly all streets in the Town are now passable for nearly all vehicles. There are isolated areas with a few inches of water over the road, however, nearly all vehicles can drive through these areas. The Town continues to maintain storm water pumps in a handful of locations, primarily to combat groundwater recharge, however, there are no longer any discharges to the Atlantic Ocean. A few town pumps continue to operate, and are discharging to Bogue Sound or other Town-owned or controlled properties, and the Emerald Isle Woods emergency discharge remains open.
The Town is pleased to have mostly resolved the storm water flooding concerns on Town streets, and can now shift its focus to other important recovery tasks. The Town was fortunate to receive helpful assistance from several portable rental pump suppliers from all over North Carolina as we addressed these significant storm water flooding concerns, and greatly appreciates their help!
Beach Clean-Up Efforts Continue
Town staff continue to remove debris from the beach strand and the dune areas, and are making steady progress. Another group of US Marines from MCAS Cherry Point is expected to assist later this week, and the Town greatly appreciates their assistance! The Town expects to have all scattered debris consolidated in manageable piles at the base of the dune escarpment by Friday, and will then retain a contractor to collect all debris and deliver it to the temporary disposal site on the mainland.
Beach Open for Beach Driving This Weekend
Beach driving season normally begins on September 15 each year, however, Hurricane Florence delayed the start of the season this year. With Town staff expecting to complete beach cleanup activities later this week, the Town will open the beach for driving this Saturday morning. Please note that beach driving will be permitted from 7 am - 7 pm only, at least initially.
Beach driving permits will go on sale again on Wednesday morning at 8 am at the Town Administration Building. Beach driving information is also available at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/beach-driving , and the online permit application will again be active beginning on Wednesday morning.
Use the Emerald Isle Public Boating Access Area at Your Own Risk
Town staff and NC Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) staff have not yet assessed any underwater debris at the boat ramp facility and in the entrance channel, so boaters are advised to exercise caution when using this facility. Town and WRC staff hope to have a damaged pier section removed from the entrance channel in the next couple of days, and plan to complete a more formal assessment before this weekend.
NC 58 and Coast Guard Road Bike Paths Slowly Being Cleared
Due to other more pressing recovery efforts, Town staff have not yet been able to devote significant time to clearing the entire NC 58 and Coast Guard Road bicycle paths, and the necessary stockpiling of debris is also encroaching on the bicycle path in many areas. Town staff have directed the Town's debris contractors to place a priority on debris collections along NC 58 and Coast Guard Road in order to present a neat, clean image along our main roads, and also to promote safe and enjoyable use of the bicycle paths.
Debris Collection Efforts Continue, New Temporary Disposal Site for Residents Hauling Own Debris
The Town's debris contractor continues to operate with a total of 11 collection crews spread out all over Emerald Isle, and is making good progress. 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.
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.
- please note that it is illegal to burn debris within the Town.
Residents who do not want to wait for the Town's contractors to arrive may transport their own debris to a newly established temporary disposal site at Western Park off Old NC 58 in Cedar Point.
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.
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.
No Decision Yet on Mosquito Spraying
The Town has not yet received a response to our request to the State for aerial mosquito spraying or ground-spraying. We remain hopeful that the State will offer assistance for spraying in the near future. In the meantime, the Town is also exploring other strategies to provide comprehensive mosquito spraying in Emerald Isle, as we expect the mosquito population to explode in the coming days.
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.
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.
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.
Avoid Contact With Standing Water
Hundreds of homes in Emerald Isle continue to 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.
Standing waters may contain potentially dangerous materials, such as sewage and chemicals. Exposure to these waters may 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 .
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.
Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival Cancelled
For many reasons associated with Hurricane Florence, the Town has cancelled 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 popular Coffee With A Cop session is still on, and will be held on Thursday at 9 am at The Trading Post in downtown Emerald Isle. Come on down and meet EI's finest!
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. Please call the Community Center at 252-354-6350 for information on special classes.
Emerald Isle Woods Park received extensive damage from Hurricane Florence, and will be closed indefinitely.
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.