Kure Beach To Hold Hurricane Information Sessions July 17th and 21st

Kure Beach To Hold Hurricane  Information Sessions July 17th and 21st

Kure Beach To Hold Hurricane Information Sessions July 17th and 21st Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 10 July 2018 01:57

Managing Editor

KURE BEACH - The Town of Kure Beach will hold Hurricane Information Sessions on July 17th and July 21st.

Commissioner David Heglar - Town Emergency Manager - will host the two sessions on hurricane preparedness and what to do if an evacuation is called.

The sessions will be held at the temporary Town Hall located at the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area on South Fort Fisher Blvd.

In June Heglar issued a letter to the public urging citizens to prepare for the 2018 Hurricane season which began June 1st and ends November 30th.

Long time residents are familiar with the need to prepare for the potential of a hurricane visiting Pleasure Island. Those who experienced the storms of the late 1990's know a storm like Matthew in 2016 could be dangerous. Even if you don't experience wind or flood damage, it can take days before services are restored. In the case of Fran in 1996, it took weeks.

If an evacuation is called for, heed that advice. Pack up important documents, the pets, and other valuables and take a trip to visit family and friends inland. For those who have transplanted to coastal area over the last 20+ years, Fran, Bonnie, Bertha and Floyd should be your benchmark storms. You can look up video footage on youtube.com to get a better idea of what a powerful storm can bring (and take away) from the area.

Over the last 21 years since Fran we've seen a lot storms like Hurricane Irene in 2011 (74mph winds with storm surge of 2 to 3 feet) or Hurricane Ernesto in 2006 (62mph gusts - 2 to 3 feet storm surge at beaches).

Hurricane Fran on September 5th 1996, made landfall near Southport with 115 mph winds and a total storm tide as high as 11 feet at Wrightsville Beach and 12 feet on Bald Head Island.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), "At the Wilmington airport winds gusted to 86 mph, but gusts to 105 mph were measured at the State Port office along the Cape Fear River. The National Hurricane Center received unofficial reports of gusts to 125 mph at Wrightsville Beach and 137 mph along Hewlett's Creek in Wilmington. These unofficial readings were from instruments mounted at non-standard heights very close to rooflines and were not deemed accurate. Multiple reports of gusts 73-77 mph were received from the coast of Horry County, SC.  Storm total rainfall in Wilmington was 5.23 inches which includes 0.75 inches that fell on September 4th."

Fran killed 22 people and produced over $1.6 billion in insured property damage in the United States, the vast majority of that in North Carolina.

The Town of Carolina Beach later relocated their police and fire departments from the old 1930's era Town Hall across from the Town's Municipal Marina on Carl Winner Drive to it's current location on North Lake Park Blvd. It had been repeatedly flooded over the years.

According to the NWS, "Storm surge flooding in Carolina Beach reached six feet across Lake Park Blvd, flooding many businesses and the town fire station.  Three feet of sand was left behind on parts of Carolina Beach Ave.  The Carolina Beach Fishing Pier, heavily damaged during Hurricane Bertha earlier in the summer, was completely destroyed along with the restaurant" and, "At Kure Beach part of Atlantic Avenue was undermined by the storm surge and impassible after the storm.

The portion of Kure Beach Pier that survived Bertha was destroyed.  At least 200 homes were damaged with about 25 beach front homes destroyed in the southern part of town along Fort Fisher Blvd.

In Heglar's June 5th, letter to residents he stated, "As a resident of a coastal community – the Hurricane threat is a real issue that requires you to have a plan of action for you and your family.  Please take the time to fully read this letter and then spend time with your family discussing the actions that you plan to take in the event the town is threatened by a Hurricane.  A key portion of your personal plan should consider what circumstances would prompt you to evacuate, where you would evacuate to and what you would take."

He explained, "Why evacuate?  A Hurricane is the strongest force of nature on the planet with an impact area of hundreds of square miles.  While the building codes have continued to make our homes stronger – it only takes a small piece of debris to compromise the structure which can result in leaving the occupants at the mercy of the elements.  During the storm, non-evacuees are completely on their own as the Emergency Services personnel will not be able to respond for assistance due to the danger involved.  Following the storm – there will be an extended amount of time with no Electricity, possibly no water, and for 2-3 days (Cat 2/3), up to 5 days (Cat 4) or longer (Cat 5) – no outside assistance.  This means that non-evacuees must be prepared to provide their own first aid, food, shelter, and water for this length of time with temperatures 5-10 degrees hotter than normal and typically no breeze."

Heglar explained, "Curfews will be in effect – this is to protect the property of those who wisely chose to evacuate meaning that during the recovery phase – non-evacuees will be confined to their property.  The recovery efforts will be focused on clearing downed power lines, debris removal and maintaining the integrity of the town’s water system – during Hurricane Fran this resulted in the majority of oceanfront homes being shut-off due to water pressure concerns.  The emergency personnel do not maintain adequate supplies for citizens who elect to not evacuate and therefore a decision to stay means that you must have adequate supplies for you and your family.  Postponing the evacuation decision may result in being unable to leave as the Snow’s Cut Bridge will be closed by the NC Highway Patrol when sustained winds make it unsafe to cross."

He explained, "What does the town do? As the storm approaches – Town Officials will closely coordinate with NHC Emergency Management to issue voluntary or mandatory evacuations.  Town employees and volunteers will prepare the town’s infrastructure for the storm – boarding up public buildings, renting and hooking up generators to the town’s wells to protect the water system, getting supplies for the emergency services personnel and conveying information door-to-door to ensure that citizens are informed. For larger storms – isolating water to the oceanfront homes, preparing to evacuate town equipment from the island and securing public buildings.  Town employees and volunteers will lock-in during the storm at the Fire, Police, Public Works and Town Hall buildings unless the storm severity requires evacuation of emergency personnel inland."

Heglar explained, "Following the storm landfall they will quickly begin the process of recovery to restore vital services, protect property and remove debris.  Assessment teams will visit damaged property to perform initial damage assessments required by the State and Federal governments.  Curfews will be in affect to ensure that the property of citizens who evacuated is protected.  Co-ordination with the New Hanover County Emergency Management and Carolina Beach will occur to restore access to the public as soon as conditions are safe for return.  What if I stay?  While this decision is not recommended – if you do decide to stay – YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN."

He explained, "During the storm – you must be prepared to perform emergency repairs to your home if necessary, trained and confident to perform first aid on yourself or others staying in the home, have supplies for an extended period of time and be ready for the oppressive heat that follows a storm. The days from landfall until public access is restored will be spent on your property, with no electricity (unless you have a generator), the sounds of generators, debris removal, and the still air and heat that follows a storm – eating the supplies that you prepared for the storm with and drinking hot drinks.  As the Emergency Manager – life safety is the primary focus of the Emergency Response.  I encourage you to carefully consider your actions in the event of a Hurricane threat to Kure Beach and to plan accordingly now – so that the pressure of the moment, the bravado of people telling you that it is no big deal and the inopportune timing do not result in a poor decision for you and your family."

Heglar concluded stating, "For more information on personal planning go to www.fema.gov  and www.weather.gov/os/hurricane/resources/ I encourage every citizen to create a Family Disaster Plan to be prepared.  If you have any questions or comments please contact Town Hall at 458-8216 and leave a message for me or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Both sessions will be held at the temporary Town Hall located at the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area off of South Fort Fisher Boulevard, across from the Ocean Dunes complex. When you turn into the site, turn left at the flag pole and look for an orange wind sock. Town Hall is the first of two construction trailers.
Session One - Tuesday, July 17, 2018 from 4:30 - 5:30 pm
Session Two - Saturday, July 21, 2018 from 11 am to noon
For more info call 910-458-8216.


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