State of Emergency for Beaufort County and Voluntary Evacuation Announced

Published 1:47 pm Thursday, September 2, 2010

By Staff
Staff reports
A Limited State of Emergency was declared at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1, by Jerry Langley, chairman of the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners and the mayors of all seven Beaufort County cities and towns in advance of Hurricane Earl which is expected to be near the Outer Banks late Thursday.
The emergency declaration announces a voluntary evacuation from locations vulnerable to high wind, the opening of shelters and driving restrictions from late Thursday night to early Friday morning.
Beaufort County shelters will open to the public at Northside and Southside high schools Thursday beginning at 4:30 p.m., it was announced in a press release issued by the county late Wednesday.
Both high schools will operate on a normal school day schedule Thursday.
Citizens arriving at shelters should bring necessary personal supplies and eat before they arrive, given no availability of an evening meal, the press release said.
The county anticipates that both shelters will close early Friday morning after emergency personnel inspect primary county travel routes, according to the press release.
Beaufort County and its cities and towns – Aurora, Bath, Belhaven, Chocowinity, Pantego and Washington Park – have restricted travel to emergency circumstances only between 11 p.m. Thursday and 5:30 a.m. Friday due to the potential of tropical storm force winds, falling debris and low visibility.
“I am concerned about the increasing likelihood of sustained tropical force winds, particularly in eastern Beaufort County,” Langley said in the press release. “Folks who live in areas vulnerable to high winds should consider one of our two shelters for Thursday evening before the high winds come through.”