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Northampton declares State of Emergency; storm shelters slated to open on Wednesday

The Northampton County Emergency Operations Center advises county residents to make immediate preparations for potentially severe weather resulting from Hurricane Florence.

As of 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, the National Weather Service predicts Hurricane Florence will make landfall along the southeastern North Carolina coast and continue inland on a path, which will impact residents in Northampton County.

Sustained subtropical tropical force winds (25 to 40 mph) from Hurricane Florence are anticipated to reach Northampton County by 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, strengthening to tropical storm force winds (40-75 mph) by 8 a.m. on Thursday. Winds are forecast to remain strong through the day and into the night.

Rainfall in Northampton County from Hurricane Florence is forecast to be ten (10) to fifteen (15) inches and may be locally heavier.

The Northampton County Emergency Operations Center advises residents living in low-lying areas subject to flooding and those living in mobile homes susceptible to wind damage to seek shelter in more substantial structures.   Senior citizens, those with small children and those who have special care needs should consider relocating to a secure location.

Robert Carter, Chairman of the Northampton County Board of Commissioners, has issued a Proclamation of a County State of Emergency effective as of 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday. and continuing until such time as the proclamation is lifted.

At present, the Proclamation of a County State of Emergency marshals the manpower and resources of Northampton County to coordinate and prepare for potentially adverse weather conditions resulting from Hurricane Florence, and positions County Government to most effectively coordinate emergency preparedness and response efforts with agencies of the state and federal governments.

There are no restrictions on the sale of alcohol or firearms at this time with the State of Emergency in place.

In preparation for the impact expected from Hurricane Florence, Northampton County will be opening three shelters within the county effective at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

They are located at the Wellness Center (9536 NC 305 Highway in Jackson), Northampton County High School (152 Hurricane Drive in Gaston), and Conway Middle School (400 East Main Street in Conway).

“Being prepared and taking some personal items with you makes the stay a little more comfortable. Prepare a go-bag to carry with you,” said Northampton County Emergency Management Director Ronald P Storey Jr,

Items to bring are:

Food – The shelter may provide food. If you want comfort food or you are on a special diet, you should bring your own food.

Clothing and Bedding – You should have two changes of clothing and all weather shoes. Not always is there bedding provided. A sleeping bag, blanket and pillow would make it more comfortable.

Personal Items – Bring toiletries items with you. Don’t forget your prescription medicines.

Miscellaneous – Cell phone and charger, radio and flashlights are all important to have. Bring toys and comfort items for children to keep them comfortable.

Alcoholic beverages and weapons are not allowed in shelters. Smoking is not allowed in the shelters either.

“Please be aware that Hurricane Florence has the potential to be a catastrophic event affecting the eastern two-thirds of North Carolina. Please take this Hurricane seriously and prepare as best you can,” Storey said.