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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) –
Hanover County leaders updated residents on recovery efforts on everything from shelter changes to debris removal in a news briefing. At the time of the news briefing, Duke Energy outage map showed 81,000 power outages.
“Things are getting better slowly and we thank God for that,” said Woody White, Chairman of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners as he opened the Monday afternoon briefing in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
Rising waters are still a primary concern in the area.
“We know that we’re going to have a significant flooding event in eastern North Carolina,” said Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo.
“We do know that the Lumber River, the Northeast Cape Fear River, the Black River, the Cape River are all going to be passed flood stage.This is going to be probably the most significant flooding event this part of the state has ever seen,” said Mayor Saffo.
He immediately addressed the death reported at Hoggard shelter Monday morning. He said the shelter staff began CPR immediately.
“They were still doing so when other EMS arrived.” He emphasized that New Hanover Regional Medical Center has staff on site and that emergency efforts were made as soon as the unresponsive individual was discovered.
County shelters were consolidated into one larger shelter on Sunday. Hoggard High School is a pet-friendly location. IDs are not required to check into shelters.
Wake County closed their shelter on Sunday. People seeking shelter at out of area shelters were transported to state-supported shelters at the Veterans Memorial Shelter in Winston-Salem and the Friday Center at UNC Chapel Hill.
White says they are working to bring residents home but have to wait until roads are safe.
Carolina and Kure beach will reopen to residents at noon today to residents only. They must have proof of residential status to be allowed on the beaches.
It could be well after Wednesday before residents that evacuated can return home to Wilmington, that’s because leaders will need to wait to see what happens after the river crests to open many of the roadways.
“We hope that we’ll be able to add more routes into the city on Wednesday after the river crests on Tuesday, but remember that those bridges will have to be inspected by the department of transportation before anyone is allowed to travel over them,” said Mayor Saffo.
Along with blocked roadways, most of the city traffic lights remain out.
“Raleigh PD did send us 30 additional officers [Monday] night, as well as the State Highway Patrol assigned 10 troopers to Wilmington PD to help us primarily with traffic control,” said Mayor Saffo.
“Progress is being made in our efforts of supply distribution in the coming days,” said White.
Monday, 20 trucks arrived from Fort Bragg to begin services. Distribution locations, staffed by Civil Air Patrol, are still being confirmed with plans to be operational by Tuesday morning.
There will be three sites, located in the north, central and southern part of the county.
Curfew is still in effect until further notice from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m.
“There have been approximately 700 citizen rescues by emergency response teams and partners,” said White.
He added that there are many downed power lines and trees in the roadways and many roadways that are impassable.
New Hanover County’s Damage Assessment Team estimates current cost of damage to be approximately $13-million and contents loss at $2.7-million.
Debris removal information will be updated when coordinated.
“You all can see that it is ongoing and happening as we speak,” said White.
Normal operating hours for the county landfill will resume on Tuesday, September 18.
New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and other public safety agencies continue to work on maintaining clearance of the main thoroughfares of the county in partnership with DOT and the City of Wilmington.
EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTER
Our emergency operation center continues to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additional emergency response crews will be coming to Hanover County.
The non-emergency needs phone number is still active and fully staffed and available for any of your non-emergency questions or assistance.
“We continue to ask you to stay off the roads so that we can ensure that our public safety officials can do their jobs and get to where they need to get efficiently,” said White.
“We continue to ask evacuees not to return until notified to do so. Please stay where you are where you have food, water and shelter.”
Notifications will be sent out when residents can return.
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