Town of Emerald Isle Updates on Hurricane Florence Will Now Be Daily
The Town works hard to keep our residents, property owners, businesses, and visitors well-informed, and hopes that the Hurricane Florence updates have been helpful to better understand Florence's impacts and the Town's response. Beginning today, 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.
Emerald Isle Bridge Open to Everyone From 8 am - 8 pm Only; No Re-Entry Permit Necessary
The Emerald Isle bridge is open to everyone from 8 am - 8 pm only, and it is no longer necessary to utilize re-entry permits.
The Emerald Isle bridge was opened to everyone for the first time this morning at 8 am, and EIPD reports a smooth process and a normal day with no significant problems in Emerald Isle. The Town opened the bridge in order to 1) enable our residents and property owners to bring contractors and other helpers into EI to secure properties and begin repairs, 2) to enable our residents and property owners who simply lost their re-entry permit or did not have time to secure one to enter EI to secure properties and begin repairs, and 3) to be consistent with our neighboring towns in Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, and Indian Beach, which are all operating under the same policy.
The Town recognizes and appreciates the deep connection that our residents and property owners have to this special place, and always seeks to provide the most helpful, least intrusive services to our residents and property owners while balancing the needs and perspectives of more than 7,000 different property owners.
Curfew Remains in Effect for Everyone from 8 pm - 8 am Nightly
The Town-wide curfew remains in effect from 8 pm - 8 am each night, until further notice. It is illegal to move around Emerald Isle or leave your property during the curfew hours. Residents and property owners should remain on your own property between 8 pm and 8 am, and non-residents and contractors may only be in Emerald Isle between 8 am and 8 pm daily. Street lights are now on in many areas of Emerald Isle, and the Town will have additional Police personnel on duty to patrol the Town all week long.
Town's Primary Focus on Resolving Storm Water Flooding Concerns
The Town's primary focus now, after the immediate aftermath of Florence, is to resolve storm water flooding concerns as quickly as possible for our residents and property owners.
All of the Town's 9 fixed pumps in neighborhoods along Coast Guard Road are now functioning on Carteret-Craven Electric power, and are gradually improving flooding conditions in these areas. The Island Circle area is now nearing completion, and all storm water flooding issues along Ocean Drive in the numbered streets in eastern Emerald Isle are now essentially resolved.
The Town currently has 2 portable pumps in place on Sound Drive at Archers Point cul-de-sac, 2 portable pumps on Ocean Drive at Cedar Tree, and 2 on Connie Street. The Town also has 2 large rental pumps in place on Coast Guard Road near Spinnakers Reach and Lands End, and is slowly lowering water levels in this area of Coast Guard Road. As of 2 pm this afternoon, the deepest water on Coast Guard Road was approximately 20 inches and falling. (Only high clearance vehicles can drive through this area.) The Town also has 1 large rental pump in place on Ocean Drive near Doe Drive.
The Town will take delivery of 5 additional large rental pumps this evening, and these will be deployed either late tonight or tomorrow morning as follows: 2 additional pumps on Coast Guard Road near Spinnakers Reach and Lands End to hopefully make this road passable very soon, 1 pump on Ocean Drive at Fairfax Drive, 1 pump at Wyndtree Drive, and 1 pump on Reed Drive.
The Town also expects to take delivery of 5 additional large rental pumps on Wednesday afternoon or evening, and these will be deployed at the most strategic locations on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.
US Senator Thom Tillis is also working with the Town to hopefully secure a specialized pump operations team to come to EI to relieve our Public Works and Fire Department personnel, many of whom have worked tirelessly for the past week to prepare for and respond to Florence, and who also have families they miss and homes that were damaged during Florence.
The Town is aware of all storm water flooding areas in Emerald Isle, and is working as hard as possible to resolve concerns as quickly as possible, in a strategic manner. After the additional 10 pumps are received tonight and tomorrow, the Town will be operating a total of 28 storm water pumps, of various kinds, to try to get us back to normal. Please recognize that 1) we all have just experienced the most significant hurricane in most of our lifetimes, and 2) that we received approximately 24 inches of rainfall in one storm - when is the last time you were in a rainfall event of that magnitude? Thank you for your patience and understanding - all of us at the Town are truly working as hard as we can!
Request for USMC Assistance Submitted, and Volunteer Help Welcome to Clean Our Beach!
The Town has not yet begun clean-up efforts on the beach strand, and there remains significant debris on the beach strand. Additionally, many beach access walkways are damaged, and some may not be accessible for use. Please be careful when visiting the beach strand!
With Town staff focused primarily on storm water flooding issues, the Town has submitted a formal request under the Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) program, and has requested assistance from MCAS Cherry Point and/or MCB Camp Lejeune to help clean debris from the beach strand. We are soliciting the assistance of Marine Corps personnel to help collect storm debris on the beach strand to enable faster and more efficient collection of debris in an effort to get EI back to normal as soon as possible.
The Town welcomes any volunteer assistance to clean our beautiful beach strand. If you'd like to help the Town, the best way to help is to collect debris from the beach strand, and place it in neat, consolidated piles at the base of the dune escarpment. Your help will enable us to clean the beach faster and more efficiently, and allow anyone to lend our community a helping hand! You don't need to coordinate with anyone - just start placing debris in piles, and we'll make sure it gets cleaned up as soon as possible.
Debris Collection Efforts Set to Begin, IMPORTANT INFORMATION for Those Beginning Clean-Up Activities
The Town's contractor is expected to begin initial debris collection efforts on Wednesday, and will gradually ramp up operations in the coming days. The Town's contractors will be collecting construction and demolition debris, discarded furnishings, and vegetative debris, and Town staff will be collecting discarded appliances. Collection efforts will likely continue for the next several weeks, and we will be working hard to have EI back to normal as quickly as possible.
As property owners begin cleaning up their property from Florence's damage, please help us complete the collection of debris in the most efficient and safe manner.
- 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, may result in a slower collection process, and may hinder power restoration crews.
Hazards Still Present
Although the Town continues to gradually recover from Florence's impacts, they are still significant. Please note that numerous hazards may still be present, so please be especially mindful of the following:
- Avoid areas with standing water, as there may be hazards, both man-made and animals, in the water.
- Please be aware of low-hanging utility lines, and avoid contact.
- Please exercise caution if / when connecting a generator to your home.
- Please note that many beach access walkways have been damaged, and include high drop-offs to the beach strand.
Drone Videos Available For Viewing
Town volunteers have filmed various areas of Emerald Isle to allow our absentee property owners to view damage in your neighborhood. To view the currently available videos, please visit https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/hurricane-florence--september-2018 . Video of additional areas will be added as it becomes available.
More and More Homes Have Power
Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative and their disaster partners continue to work hard to restore power in Emerald Isle, and are making steady progress. More and more subdivisions now have power, and we are hopeful that the entire town will have power restored before the weekend.
To report power outages, or inquire about the status of your subdivision, please contact Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative directly at 252-247-3107, or visit their website at http://carteretcravenec.coopwebbuilder2.com/ . System-wide, as of Monday afternoon, the Cooperative had restored approximately 25% of their customers in Carteret and Craven counties. Specific data for Emerald Isle is not currently available, but community observations suggest that more than 50% of Emerald Isle has power as of Tuesday afternoon.
The Town greatly appreciates the dedicated efforts of Carteret-Craven and their disaster partners to get life back to normal in Emerald Isle. Thank you CCEC!
More and More Local Businesses Opening
As power is gradually restored, more and more Emerald Isle businesses are opening to provide critical goods and services and other conveniences to our residents and property owners. Life is slowly getting back to normal.
Town Services, Other Information
Trash will not be collected on Monday or Tuesday, and recycling will not be collected on Wednesday. The normal trash collection schedule is expected to resume on Thursday.
The Town Administration Building is open during normal business hours (8 am - 5 pm).
The Community Center remains closed indefinitely, and a reopening date will be announced soon.
All Town meetings and events from September 17 - 23 are cancelled.
The Town has not yet made a decision on the Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival, scheduled for Saturday, September 29. We will assess our progress this weekend, and a decision on our community's readiness for this great annual event will be made no later than Monday.
Beach Profile Survey Planned for Later This Week
The County's and the Town's beach profile surveyors will be on the beach in Emerald Isle later this week and next week, and these surveys will be used to determine how much sand was lost from the beach and dunes as a result of Florence. These calculations will be used to develop the Town's forthcoming claim for FEMA assistance to restore lost sand via a planned beach nourishment project this coming winter. The Town was fortunate to receive FEMA assistance for sand lost during Hurricanes Isabel, Ophelia, and Irene, and is expected to also be eligible for assistance related to Hurricane Florence.
To view a preliminary assessment of the beach erosion along Bogue Banks by the Carteret County Shore Protection Office, please visit http://www.carteretcountync.gov/DocumentCenter/View/5215/Preliminary-Assessment .
Please Conserve Water!
Please do not use water to clean homes and vehicles when you arrive, as the Town's public water supply remains at risk until all leaks (from private homes and piers) are identified and corrected.
Best Travel Routes
The best route from the Raleigh area to Emerald Isle remains US 70 east all the way to Morehead City, and then west on NC 24 to the Emerald Isle bridge. Additionally, NC 24 has now reopened between Emerald Isle and Jacksonville after being closed to flooding in recent days.
Please be advised that road conditions may change. For the the latest information about eastern NC road conditions please consult your local authorities and/or NCDOT's Travel Information Management System at https://tims.ncdot.gov/tims/regionsummary.aspx# .
Please travel safe, and heed warnings along all roadways. DO NOT ENTER flooded roadways, as the depth and speed of flowing water are often deceiving. TURN AROUND, DON'T DROWN! Do not become a drowning victim simply because of your impatience!
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.