Our listening area is now under a Hurricane Warning and officials across the region have declared multiple States of Emergency. Hurricane conditions, including very high winds, heavy rain and storm surge, are expected within 48 hours.
Life threatening rain, wind, storm surge and flooding are likely, and rain could extend for days, leading to a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event.
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Because of these conditions, emergency medical responders will likely not be able to respond to medical emergencies for those who do not leave the area or seek shelter. Once wind speeds reached a sustained speed of 40-45 mph, it will not be safe for fire trucks and ambulances to be on the road. Depending on storm conditions, the inability to respond could extend for days.
Hurricane Florence is a large, strong, potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm as of 11 am. There are reports of roads clogging as people evacuate from South Carolina.
Shelters open in Brunswick County beginning Tuesday afternoon.
- West Brunswick High School (550 Whiteville Rd., Shallotte) – pet friendly
- North Brunswick High School (114 Scorpion Drive, Leland) – pet friendly
- South Brunswick High School (100 Cougar Road, Boiling Spring Lakes) – pet friendly
Dogs and cats are accepted at all Brunswick County shelters. Owners must stay at the shelter as well, and should bring documentation of rabies vaccines, food, any medicines, and any other items necessary for your pets.
In New Hanover County, a voluntary evacuation order is in place.
At 6 p.m. Tuesday, a shelter specifically for New Hanover County residents will open at the Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School, in Raleigh. Residents of New Hanover County who are planning to go to a shelter are strongly encouraged to relocate to this inland location.
The first New Hanover County evacuation shelter will open tonight (Tuesday) at 7 p.m.
Trask Middle School, a pet-friendly shelter and cats and dogs are welcome (no exotic animals), and limited food service will be available for people seeking shelter.
In Pender County, four shelters open – one today (Tuesday) at 4 p.m.
- Burgaw Middle School, pet-friendly shelter
- Topsail Elementary School
- Cape Fear Middle School
- Malpass Corner Elementary
Burgaw Middle will open Tuesday at 4 p.m. The remaining shelters will open soon.
Residents evacuating to a shelter should bring identification, any needed medications, any needed items like glasses or diapers, clothing for 3-7 days, pillows, toiletries, chargers for cell phones, and books, games or cards. Residents should bring sheets or bedding, and cots and air mattresses if available. Alcohol, illegal substances, and weapons are not permitted.
The New Hanover Regional Medical Center Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital will remain open during Hurricane Florence for patients who must be there.
But a press release from the hospital strongly urges pregnant women – particularly those 37 weeks and above – to evacuate. According to physicians in the OB / GYN Department, it will be difficult to travel to the hospital during the height of the storm, and emergency services may not be able to reach you if roads are blocked by flooding or downed trees. NHRMC EMS ceases operations when sustained wind speeds exceed 50 mph.
Get a copy of your medical records before you evacuate, if possible.
(Updated at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 11)