EMERALD ISLE — Town officials began preparing Friday for Hurricane Isaias, running through a long and familiar checklist.
Emerald Isle Town Manager Matt Zapp said in an email preparations will continue until the storm arrives and he and the staff are keeping a close eye on forecast paths that could make a difference when the storm moves up the coastline early next week.
Already, he said, town personnel put the red flags on the beach, as have officials in the other Bogue Banks towns, because dangerous ocean conditions are expected, including a high risk of rip currents.
“The public is asked to avoid the water,” he said, and, if necessary, double-red flags could go up at some point, banning anyone without a flotation device from entering the ocean. Citations are possible for violators.
“Emerald Isle’s stormwater infrastructure – drains, pumps and ditches – is operational and clear of debris” in anticipation of possible heavy rains and high tides,” he said. “Emergency fuel, generators and mobile pumps are staged.”
As of Saturday morning, there was no intention to issue a state of emergency for the town, the manager said, and no intent to call for a voluntary evacuation.
Instead, he said, residents and guests should be prepared for high winds, heavy rains and the potential loss of power and in addition “should be prepared to shelter in place with sufficient food, water and medical supplies.”
The town began is public messaging Friday night, sending out information on its website, by Facebook and Twitter and on the Emerald Isle app.
“All town staff and first responders are on high alert,” Mr. Zapp said, and will be ready to adjust if expectations of the storm change.
Meanwhile, just across the B. Cameron Langston Bridge in Cape Carteret on the western Carteret County mainland, Town Manager Zach Steffey said in an email late Friday staff had already been “working hard to check all drainage pipes and ditches and to clear any obstructions, to remove and secure all picnic tables, trash cans, and loose objects from town parks and rights-of-way.”
Town buildings have been boarded up and secured, he added, and staff has been issuing reentry passes. Mr. Steffey added, and have been taking down all banners and flags and setting up the emergency operations center in town hall.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.