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State Begins Recovery Operations, Damage Assessments
Raleigh, N.C. – The State Emergency Response Team continues to respond to resource requests and is transitioning into recovery operations from Hurricane Arthur, which has exited North Carolina waters and continues to make its way north. According to the National Hurricane Center, Arthur is the earliest hurricane to hit North Carolina since records began in 1851. The previous record was July 11, 1901.
“I want to thank our citizens and visitors for heeding our warnings and evacuating when asked, as well as the news media for disseminating weather and life-saving safety information throughout the storm,” Governor Pat McCrory said. “Although Hurricane Arthur made landfall near Morehead City as a category two hurricane, there are minimal reports of damage. Our teams have transitioned into the recovery phase and have begun damage assessments in the hardest hit areas.”
Hurricane Arthur cleared North Carolina waters this morning yet lingering effects could still be felt along the coast throughout the day. Tropical force winds are expected to cease by late morning, with the potential for gusts extending into the evening hours. The possibility for heavy rainfall remains through the morning and should clear by the afternoon. Moderate storm surge effects continue in the sounds and rivers, and dangerous rip currents remain a threat throughout the day.
“Although preliminary reports are very positive, it is going to take us a few days to fully comprehend the full impact of Hurricane Arthur,” Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry said. “We are working with local officials to conduct damage assessments and will continue to support counties with resource requests and recovery efforts.”
The North Carolina Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated with personnel responding to county resource requests and deploying teams to conduct damage assessments. The State Emergency Response Team will continue to work with its federal, state and local partners including FEMA, Red Cross, Baptist Men, utilities and private sector partners.
No casualties have been reported. As of 9 a.m., more than 44,000 customers are reported to be without power in the coastal counties, with the majority of customers impacted in Carteret County. Ocracoke Island is also without power. A generator and communications package will be taken by ferry to the island this afternoon.
Brunswick, Tyrrell, New Hanover, Dare, Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Currituck, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender and Hyde counties are under a State of Emergency. Five shelters remain open throughout Beaufort, Carteret, Dare and Pamlico counties.
N.C. Department of Transportation crews have been out on the roads this morning assessing damage from the storm. Preliminary reports indicate that much of the damage has been contained to the Outer Banks, particularly in the area of Hatteras Island. N.C. 12 is currently closed from the Bonner Bridge south to Ocracoke due to sound-side flooding, sand on the road and numerous downed power poles. Crews will assess the area today as soon as the water recedes to determine the extent of the damage. Crews will additionally inspect the Bonner Bridge, the only link to Hatteras Island, as soon as conditions are stable enough to conduct sonar testing on the integrity of the bridge.
“We urge people to stay off the road as much as possible in the impacted areas and allow our crews to complete the work necessary to reopen the road and get our residents and visitors back to Hatteras Island as quickly as possible,” said Secretary Tony Tata.
The NC Ferry Division will inspect the channels as soon as water conditions permit and hopes to resume some runs to Ocracoke Island by late afternoon.
For more information about how to get ready for a hurricane and what to do during or after a storm, go to ReadyNC.org. You can also download the free ReadyNC app – available for both iPhone and android devices – which has real time weather, traffic and shelter information.