Evacuation orders are in place for Brunswick County, Topsail Beach in Pender County, and now, New Hanover.
Go inland, if possible. That’s the message from officials in the Cape Fear region.
Brunswick County and at least two municipalities there have issued mandatory evacuation orders for low-lying and flood-prone areas, and sub-standard homes and mobile homes.
New Hanover County officials declared voluntary evacuations for the entire county Monday night.
Commissioner Rob Zapple says it’s a personal judgment call – but erring on the side of caution might be better in this case.
"Any person who chose to stay in their home during that should be forewarned that they will not be able to be rescued if things get out of control either from water rising or wind damage that’s happening. With this particular storm, we’re looking at a storm surge in excess of 12 feet – so that means if you live along a creek or near the river or any kind of low-lying area, there will be water that will come up and come up very rapidly."
Shelters are opening in New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender Counties beginning Tuesday. Officials say all evacuations and storm preparations must be complete by Wednesday evening, when the area will start seeing impacts of Hurricane Florence.
From Governor Roy Cooper's office:
As of 6 pm Monday, the following counties have ordered evacuations, with more anticipated Tuesday:
- Bertie County – voluntary evacuation of waterfront and low-lying areas effective Wednesday, Sept 12
- Brunswick County - voluntary evacuation of unincorporated areas effective Tuesday, Sept 11; mandatory evacuation of low-lying and flood-prone areas, people in substandard or mobile homes effective Tuesday, Sept 11
- Currituck County - mandatory evacuation for Currituck Outer Banks (Corolla and Carova) effective 7am Tuesday, Sept 11
- Dare County - mandatory evacuation for Hatteras Island effective noon Monday, Sept 10; mandatory evacuation for entire county effective 7am Tuesday, Sept 11
- Hyde County - mandatory evacuation for visitors to Ocracoke effective Monday, Sept. 10; mandatory evacuation for residents to Ocracoke effective Tuesday, Sept 11
- New Hanover County - mandatory evacuation for UNCW
- Onslow County – voluntary evacuation of unincorporated areas and Surf City effective Monday, Sept 10; mandatory evacuation of Topsail Beach effective Tuesday, Sept 11
Find information on shelters, evacuation routes, preparation, and other hurricane info at ReadyNC.org
Rob Zapple is a member of the Board of Directors of WHQR Public Media.