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Florence makes landfall

Hurricane Florence stormed onshore at 7:15 this morning (Friday) along Wrightsville Beach at Wilmington, packing winds of 90 mph with higher gusts.

The southeastern portion of the state is getting pounded with high wind, heavy rain, and deadly storm surge. The wind and heavy rain extends north into the Kinston/Greenville areas. Some of the more potent outer rain bands are in southern Bertie County.

Thus far, the majority of the R-C area has been spared the brunt of the storm. However, please note that any slight shift in Florence’s track as she moves inland could easily move those heavier rain bands and stronger winds into the heart of the Roanoke-Chowan area.

Bertie County update

Emergency Services Director Mitch Cooper reports that 180 people took shelter overnight in the county’s three shelters.

High wind gusts are expected throughout the day and citizens are advised to stay in place and avoid driving until the storm subsides—tomorrow or Sunday.

Bertie County evacuated 28 patients from Windsor House to a location in Scotland Neck, where they will remain until the storm passes.

EMS and Non-Emergency Transport Services were active throughout the night, including transporting patients evacuated from Martin Community Hospital at the request of Martin County Emergency Management.

Our neighbors to the south continue to struggle. Beaufort County’s backup 911 PSAP (communications center) has flooded and its calls are being transferred to Randolph County.

The Bertie County Board of Commissioners decisive action to lease the HTM building for 90 days to facilitate emergency and recovery operations has been a tremendous asset for coordination, staging and unifying public safety, first responders, state agencies and the NC National Guard.

“Again, as this storm continues to progress ever so slowly, we need to keep watch for potential wind gusts and possible tornados. Florence is unpredictable and erratic, which will continue to rotate furiously pushing rain bans and dangerous winds throughout the region, including Bertie County,” said County Manager Scott Sauer. “Please encourage your family to stay sheltered and pray for those experiencing a direct impact to our south.”

Northampton County update

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

As of 6:00 p.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service predicts tropical storm force winds resulting from Hurricane Florence will begin impacting Northampton County and persisting into Friday.

Rainfall in Northampton County from Hurricane Florence is currently forecast to be four (4) to five (5) 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.

The Northampton County Emergency Operations Center has activated three primary shelters Shelter facilities are located at:

The Wellness Center 9536 NC 305 Highway, Jackson, NC 27845

Northampton County High School, 152 Hurricane Drive, Gaston, NC 27832

Conway Middle School, 400 East Main Street, Conway, NC 27820

Being prepared and taking some personal items makes the stay in a shelter a little more comfortable. Each individual should prepare a go-bag to carry with them. Items to bring include:

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

Child Care Essentials: Those with infants should bring disposable diapers, non-refrigerated formula and baby food, and other child-care essentials.

Clothing and Bedding – Bring two changes of clothing (and a used clothing bag) and all weather shoes. Not always is bedding provided. A sleeping bag, blanket and pillow will make for a more comfortable stay.

Personal Items – Bring toiletry/personal hygiene items with you. Don’t forget your prescription medicines (medicines requiring refrigeration should be ice-packed).

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

Not Allowed – Alcoholic beverages and weapons are not allowed in shelters. Smoking and the use of other tobacco or vaping products is also not allowed in the shelters.

Pets are not allowed in the Northampton County shelters. Please make accommodation of pets elsewhere. There is limited ability to accommodate pets in a separate facility for those sheltering at the Wellness Center in Jackson.

Northampton County Government offices will be closed on Friday, Sept. 14. Public Safety and other essential personnel will report for work as scheduled.