BRUNSWICK COUNTY: Hurricane Dorian brings back memories of Hurricane Florence

View The Original Article Here

Power outages from Hurricane Dorian now below 3,200; trash pickup resumes Saturday

For a recap of Thursday’s news, click here.

3:40 p.m. update: Storm resurfaces memories of Hurricane Florence

Brunswick County Sheriff’s detectives Philip Horne and Kasey Leonard drove around to assess the damage of Hurricane Dorian on Friday morning.

The pair, who also serve as Swift Water Rescue responders, were also partnered up after Florence. They through areas they remembered were impassable the year before, only to find minimal to no damage. It was an assessment and rescue effort that continued for roughly 19 days.

“We were very fortunate for it not to be as server as Florence,” Horne said.

Stoney Creek, a residential community in Leland, was one of the neighborhoods impacted by heavy flooding last year.

This time around was different.

A woman jogged down the street, one that would have been covered in water during Florence, as Horne prepared to turn down another. A tree was uprooted near a stop sign, but overall debris was minimal.

Stoney Creek resident Jason Baysden, who lived near the fallen tree, was preparing for the worst. The water levels reached the top of his mailbox during Florence. They also last power for a couple of days. Their power didn’t even flicker during Dorian. The uprooted tree is one residents expected to fall due to saturation last year. This time, it did.

“It was something we tried to keep an eye on because honestly even walking around yesterday right before the storm hit everything looked and felt the same as last year,” Baysden said.

Luckily for the majority of Brunswick County, the damage wasn’t. It was clear blue, sunny skies by Friday afternoon.

2:30 p.m. update: Family recounts tornado experience

Shane Hardee was brushing his teeth Thursday morning while his 11-year-old daughter, Briana, was making pancakes.

That’s when Karen Hardee screamed to her family: “Get in the closet.”

She could see the funnel cloud approaching the Carolina Shores house through a window in her living room. They immediately hunkered down in the closet built underneath the stairs.

Shane described the sound as a train: “Woo, woo.”

The house shook.

Meanwhile, their oldest daughter Corryn, 15, was at a friend’s house nearby. She woke up after a piece of window — not the glass — landed on top of her, neck to waist, but she sustained no injuries.

It was a terrifying experience for all involved.

In fear another tornado would emerge, Briana turned the closet into her own special place. She hung fairy lights and pictures and used her dog’s bed as a seat. It was a cozy safe haven during a day filled with complete chaos as Hurricane Dorian inched closer, leaving destruction in its path.

“We were totally thankful. It looks like a war zone up there,” Karen said. “I am telling you, God had his hands over this community because there is not one death and there could have been a lot. It was real bad. I already said we are never staying (during a hurricane) again.”

1 p.m. update: Carolina Shores area cleaning up from Thursday tornado

The worst damage Hurricane Dorian caused in Brunswick County happened before the storm hit the coast.

The Farm Community in Carolina Shores continued dealing with the aftermath of a tornado that ripped through the area Thursday morning.

Roofs were torn off houses and debris covered the streets.

Carole Leftwich and her husband, Steve, moved to the community three months ago from Wilmington. Their house sustained significant damage to the roof, rafters and windows and water was pouring from the ceiling.

Leftwich said she and her husband heard a noise that sounded like a big truck, followed by a boom, which made them both jump up in bed.

Pockets of the county did not look like a hurricane had hit. The sun was shining and Atlantic Ocean calm at Sunset Beach by 10:45 a.m. Only a few remnants of debris were visible, including a small octopus that washed ashore.

Ocean Isle Beach town administrator Daisy Ivey said there was very minimal damage and isolated flooding to the town. She said property and business owners were allowed to head home after the mandatory evacuation.

There was standing water in some parts of the county, including Oak Island, near Calabash and Leland. The water was low and calm in Southport near Fishy Fishy restaurant. Parts of the roof at the Oak Island Auto Wash were peeled back and some portions were missing. Down the road at the beach, people searched for sea shells, a sign among many others that Hurricane Dorian had finally passed through.

12:30 p.m. update: Minor damage throughout county

Brunswick County is assessing the county to review Hurricane Dorian’s impact to residents, infrastructure, facilities and the environment, and overall has found minor damage so far, according to an email sent at noon Friday.

Both the Brunswick County Government Complex and county courthouse will reopen Monday.

On Saturday, trash and recycling collection will take place as usual. Convenience collections sites will also reopen Saturday, however, regular disposal fees will apply.

Based on current assessments, Brunswick County does not anticipate activating its debris contract. To help residents clear their storm debris, the County is extending its free dump week to two weeks starting Saturday through Saturday, Sept. 21.

Brunswick County property owners and residents can dispose of all materials except for hazardous waste at the Brunswick County Landfill for free during these two weeks. Metal, tires, electronics, latex paint, and yard debris must be placed in their designated area.

Residents should bring proof of Brunswick County property ownership or residency. Waived tip fees do not apply to businesses and commercial vehicles.

The county’s water and waste water utilities infrastructure is in good shape following the storm. The Public Utilities team is working with the coastal communities to assess the status of water valves and other infrastructure before reconnecting the barrier islands’ systems to the mainland system.

Brunswick County is still experiencing wide spread power outages across the county. Both Duke Energy and Brunswick County Membership Electric (BCME) have several ways to report power outages.

For Duke Energy, visit, text OUT to 57801 or call the automated outage-reporting system at 800-769-3766 for Duke Energy Carolinas customers and 800-419-6356 for Duke Energy Progress customers.

For BCME, visit or call 1-800-682-5309.

Stay away from fallen or sagging power lines and keep children and pets away from power lines also. Consider all power lines – as well as trees, limbs or anything in contact with power lines – energized and dangerous.

Brunswick County Emergency Services coordinates offers for donations and volunteer assistance with the Brunswick County Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).

Based on the level of impact to Brunswick County, VOAD anticipates that its available resources are enough to serve the areas affected by Hurricane Dorian.

More information about VOAD is at

10:30 a.m. update: Southport remains without power

A Facebook post from the Southport Police Department reminded people intersections with stoplights not working for all vehicles to stop.

While the city’s curfew was lifted at 9 a.m., Southport remains in a citywide power outage. However, the outage numbers are decreasing throughout the county to around 4,700 people.

Crews from Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation and Duke Energy are assisting in power restoration. Minor limbs, cable lines and debris have been clear by public works.

Police are patrolling with double shifts and the fire department remains staffed with two engines and two ambulances.

A partial emergency operations center remains staffed to answer calls at 910-457-7915.

7:30 a.m. update: Damage assessment

Crews have begun heading out into Brunswick County to assess damage this morning. Brunswick Electric workers are out, including tree removal crews and line worker crews. They will be out as long as it takes until power is restored.

The curfew has been lifted at Oak Island and the bridges are open. The phone system at Town Hall is down and Town Hall will open at noon. Residents are encouraged to use caution when driving and watch for standing water and debris. 

Join Our Facebook Group: Join other readers in helping the community know about supplies, closures, damage as Hurricane Dorian approaches

Brunswick News. Your Inbox: Sign up today for our free weekly Brunswick Today email newsletter.