Isaias Moves North, Cape Fear Region Experiences Power Outages and Damage

Aug 3, 2020

Tropical Storm Isaias has left the Cape Fear Region -- but damage remains. At least two people were killed and several more are missing after one of numerous tornadoes spawned by Isaias flattened a mobile home park in Windsor.

According to NC Emergency Management, reports indicate that three tornadoes affected areas where damage was observed in Brunswick, Bertie and Hertford Counties. The National Hurricane Center says flash flooding is possible in urban areas all along the Interstate 95 corridor, as the storm moves into New England.

Beach Damage

The City of Southport is in recovery mode from Hurricane Isaias. Many roads are blocked by down power lines, poles, and trees. The Waterfront area received extensive damage, and the Southport Marina is closed due to damage assessment. Southport remains under a curfew until 7pm, and officials urge citizens to stay off the roads due to safety concerns. 

In Oak Island, areas sustained significant damage along the beachfront. Beach Drive was hit especially hard -- town officials say people should not drive down to look at the beach. Emergency personnel and other staff are still working in the area. 

In Carolina Beach, damage and safety assessments are being done in Freeman Park, and it will remain closed until further notice.

City Roadways

To keep traffic running safely, crews in the City of Wilmington have connected generators to traffic lights at three major intersections -- MLK and College, College and Oleander, and Market and Eastwood -- until power can be fully restored throughout New Hanover County. 

Wilmington officials stress that many intersections are still without a working traffic signal. Crews are actively working to restore traffic signals as power is returned.  Tree crews with the city and the Wilmington Police Department are out clearing streets in coordination with Duke Energy crews. Call 910-341-7852 to report trees or tree limbs blocking roadways within city limits. Those driving should factor in extra time for their commute, in anticipation of blocked roadways and detours. 

Aftermath Safety

  • Be careful going outside. Stay away from downed power lines and hazardous debris.
  • If your home or shelter was damaged, be alert to the smell of natural gas leaks and be cautious around exposed electrical wiring, broken glass, jagged metal and wood, and protruding nails and screws.
  • For those driving in the days ahead, treat all non-working traffic signals as a four-way stop. Use caution around low-hanging power lines, and do not drive around any road barricades.


  • Those cleaning up from the storm should wear protective clothing and gear for debris clean up. Avoid contact with power lines and take extra care in cutting branches that are bent or caught under something else.


  • When encountering flooded roadways, don’t walk through standing flood waters. Floodwater often carries germs and other dangerous debris.


  • If your power is out, do not use a generator inside your home or garage, even if doors and windows are open. Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows. Candles should not be left unattended. And keep in mind that some refrigerated or frozen foods may not be safe to eat after the loss of power. 
  • In New Hanover County, residents can begin stacking vegetative debris, such as branches and vines, within five feet of the curb, away from the street, drainage ditches, and three feet away from fire hydrants, street signs, mailboxes and parked cars. Household waste or construction debris will not be picked up, but can be brought to the New Hanover County Landfill starting Wednesday, Aug. 5.

There is a ban on open burning in the unincorporated areas of New Hanover County until further notice due to storm debris.

Flood Inundation

 Gage levels in bodies of water in the region are all at normal levels, as of now.  According to the Flood Inundation and Mapping Alert Network, bodies of water forecast for flooding in the coming hours and days include the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington. The river is forecast for moderate flooding. There is no severe flooding forecast at this time. And the Johnny Mercer Pier at Wrightsville Beach is no longer at risk for minor flooding. 


New Hanover County's Emergency Public Information Line (910-798-6800) is open for questions or support. Consult the following resources for help and support after Isaias: