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Southport, Belville, Boiling Spring Lakes also declare states of emergency Monday ahead of Tropical Storm Isaias
People were milling around downtown Southport on Monday afternoon. Other than an overcast sky, the only indication that a potential hurricane in Tropical Storm Isaias was set to arrive later in the day was the occasional boarded-up business.
Those shops that were open benefited from the foot traffic.
John Davidson, who works at the Silver Coast Winery Tasting Room on Howe Street, said it has been busier than a typical Monday.
“Mostly outgoing sales,” he said. “There are definitely people out.”
He remembers doing a lot of business before and after Hurricane Florence, too.
This year, though, things have been a little different. The business served as a bottle shop during the early restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. The winery has also been able to open in a limited capacity more recently.
Davidson also said he’s seen a 30 percent bump in sales since ferry service resumed in late July.
The shop will be open until 5 p.m. Monday for those who want to stock up before Isaias arrives.
SHELTERS OPEN IN BRUNSWICK
As Tropical Storm Isaias begins its approach to the North Carolina coast, Brunswick County’s coastal communities are announcing closures and precautions for residents.
The county opened its two primary shelters at noon Monday for individuals who plan to leave their homes. Locations are at Cedar Grove Middle School, 750 Grove Trail SW in Supply, and Town Creek Middle School, 6370 Lake Park Dr. SE in Winnabow.
Katie Spencer, shelter manager at Town Creek, said the staff is aware of preparing for a hurricane during a pandemic. They have masks and other supplies, but suggest those who come to the shelter bring their own if they have them.
Food will be served individually, as meals ready to eat. And 50 shelter beds were set up when they opened at noon, each with 100 square feet of space.
“We can set up more beds if we need them,” she said.
But she’s hoping they won’t.
“This is just in case,” she said. “A last resort.”
To prevent and protect individuals from the spread of COVID-19, all individuals at public shelters will be required to wear face coverings; disposable face coverings will be provided to anyone who does not have one. Guests must undergo a pre-screening for COVID-19 before entering, and any individual suspected to have COVID-19 will be required to stay in an isolated section of the shelter to prevent potential spread.
Ready-to-eat meal kits and bottled water will be available to shelter guests for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Due to concerns about COVID-19, hot meals will not be cooked. Individuals are encouraged to bring their own pre-cooked, non-perishable foods or snacks.
Individuals are encouraged to bring their own preferred blanket, sleeping bag, and/or pillow. Individuals and families must remain in their assigned section of the building at all times.
Only domestic cats and dogs are allowed at the shelters. Individuals are responsible for finding accommodations for other types of pets.
STATES OF EMERGENCY, CURFEWS
• Southport declared a state of emergency effective at 9 a.m. Monday, with a curfew set for 6 p.m. In addition, the area surrounded by Bay Street, Brunswick Street and Yacht Basin Drive — from Kingsley Park to the Southport Marina — will be closed, in addition to other city parks and offices.
Southport also will have a partial activation of its Emergency Operations Center beginning at 4 p.m. today. Call 910-457-7915 with questions.
• Belville officials announced a state of emergency that started at 9 a.m. Monday and also closed the town riverwalk as part of storm preparation.
Mayor Mike Allen and the Board of Commissioners encourage all residents living in low-lying areas, mobile homes, and structures that will not sustain high winds to evacuate.
“While we have been through stronger storms in recent years, we cannot let our guard down, become complacent, and avoid taking precautions,” Allen said in a press release. “There is nothing wrong with being overly prepared for any tropical system.”
• The Village of Bald Head Island will stop running ferry service at 3 p.m. Monday in preparation for Tropical Storm Isaias’ approach to the North Carolina coast.
The village, during an emergency meeting Sunday, also instituted a curfew, which begins at 5 p.m. through 9 a.m. Tuesday. That time frame matches the expected height of the storm in Southeastern North Carolina.
• Boiling Spring Lakes mayor Craig Caster also announced a state of emergency Monday morning for the town, which went into effect at noon.
All residents with special needs are encouraged to register with the Brunswick County Emergency Services Department by calling (910) 253-5383 or completing the special medical needs form online at http://www.brunswickcountync.gov/emergency/ems/. In addition, a list of shelters can be found at https://readync.org.
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