Gates County: Prepare for the worse

Published 10:13 am Friday, August 26, 2011

GATESVILLE – “Prepare yourself for a significant event.”

Those are the words of Graham Twine, Chairman of the Gates County Board of Commissioners, in a news release sent to area media outlets late Thursday afternoon.

Local officials are closely monitoring Hurricane Irene as residents up and down the state’s coastal areas as well as the Inner Banks brace for the worse hurricane to strike eastern ‘Carolina since Isabel in 2003.

“We are working diligently to stay abreast of the constantly changing situation,” Twine stated in the news release.

Gates County officials are expecting the outer bands of Irene to begin dumping rain by early Saturday morning. The rain is expected to increase in intensity throughout the daylight and nighttime hours. Rainfall could reach as high as 12 inches.

“We are strongly recommending that county citizens who live in flood-prone and low lying areas to make arrangements to leave their homes and seek shelter in a safer area,” Twine said.

County officials also said sustained winds from the hurricane, expected at 84 mph, will impact the area.

“With a storm that is rapidly changing, the exact landfall is not known at this time,” Twine said. “Gates County will see significant impact from Hurricane Irene. Prepare to make arrangements to take care of yourself for the first 72 hours.”

Twine said he expects Gates County to declare a state of emergency at 12 noon on Friday, but that may change based on what he said as, “that will be dictated by the facts that we’re seeing on the ground.”

He added that if the county does enact a state of emergency, it will likely include a restriction on travel, a curfew and limitations on the sale of alcohol.

County officials are expected to open an emergency shelter at 7 p.m. on Friday at Gates County High School.

Citizens are stay abreast of the current situations in the county by calling 357-2820, at the county government’s website ( Facebook at or through local news outlets.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal