Florence strengthened to a Category 4 with maximum winds of 140 mph on Monday, and is headed towards a Thursday afternoon or evening landfall, per the 5:30 p.m. update from the National Weather Service (NWS) Newport / Morehead City office.
Both Hatteras and Ocracoke islands issued mandatory evacuations for residents and visitors on Monday, with traffic slowly moving off the island all afternoon.
Delays up to three hours were reported on N.C. Highway 12 from just south of Salvo to the Captain Richard Etheridge Bridge, however traffic was starting to thin by Monday evening. Ocean overwash was also reported on Pea Island near the Captain Richard Etheridge Bridge and the Pea Island Visitors Center, and overwash is expected to be a concern again with the next high tide at around 8:45 p.m.
The Food Lion in Avon closed at 11 a.m. on Monday, however local grocery stores including Conner’s, Red & White, and Lee Robinson remained open.
Florence is expected to be a large storm when making landfall per the NWS, and impacts will occur well away from the actual center. Tropical storm force winds could arrive as early as Wednesday evening, and the NWS advises residents to make all preparations by Wednesday night at the latest.
Dare County Emergency Management advises residents and property owners making final storm preparations that there are currently no restrictions for leaving or entering the county, and none will be implemented before Wednesday afternoon.
NC Emergency Management has announced the opening of a shelter for Dare County residents beginning Tuesday, September 11 at 2 p.m. at Knightdale High School located at 1001 Bryan Caulk Lane, Knightdale, NC 27545. This will be a pet friendly shelter, and Dare County residents must show a valid ID with a Dare County address for entry. All pet friendly shelters require vaccination records for each pet. While in the shelter, owners are responsible for the feeding, care, clean-up, and behavior of their pets.
Dare County Public Works will collect residential trash on Tuesday, September 11 in Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Manteo, Wanchese, East Lake, Stumpy Point, and Manns Harbor. Regular trash collection will resume again on Monday, September 17.
Dare County Administrative Offices will close at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11 and remain closed until further notice. The Dare County Emergency Operations Center is activated for the storm and can be reached at 252.475.5655.
All Dare County Parks & Rec programs are cancelled until further notice. The Baum Center, Family Recreation Park, the Dare County Center and the Manteo Youth Center will be closed beginning Tuesday, September 11 until further notice.
The Dare County Clerk of Courts Office will be closed Tuesday, September 11 through Friday, September 14.
All District Court sessions are cancelled beginning Tuesday, September 11 through Friday, September 14. The Clerk of Courts Office is in the process of continuing all cases and notice of new court dates will be mailed Monday afternoon. Anyone who does not receive a notice by Friday, September 21 should contact the Dare County Clerk of Courts Office to receive their new court date.
All Dare County Schools will be closed on September 11 through the remainder of the week. Cape Hatteras Elementary and Cape Hatteras Secondary Schools released early today in response to the mandatory evacuation. Additionally, the Board of Education meeting that was scheduled for tomorrow evening has been cancelled.
For preparedness information, visit www.readync.org.
Monitor local weather reports at www.weather.gov/mhx, or sign up to receive email alerts directly from Emergency Management at www.darenc.com/emergencyalerts and follow @DareCountyEM on Twitter.