All eyes on Sandy

Published 7:22 pm Saturday, October 27, 2012

Most of eastern North Carolina remains under a tropical-storm warning as Hurricane Sandy churns in a northeast direction in the Atlantic Ocean at 13 mph. The warning zone extends from the Santee River in South Carolina north to Duck, N.C., including the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds.
Hurricane Sandy is expected to be off the North Carolina coast Sunday before moving off to the north Monday morning.
In addition to the tropical-storm warning, a flood watch is in effect beginning at noon Saturday for areas east of U.S. Highway 17.
As of the 5 p.m. advisory from the National Weather Service, Hurricane Sandy had sustained winds of 75 mph and was 345 miles south of Cape Hatteras.
“Nothing has changed other than we’re anticipating a little higher storm surge in the Aurora area than what the National Weather Service had initially forecast,” said John Pack, Beaufort County’s emergency-management director, after holding his midday staff meeting Saturday.
Pack did not anticipate opening any shelters at this time.
“We are prepared to open all four of our shelters,” Pack said. “Food, cots, blankets — everything is ready to go in that respect. All we would have to do is get our staff to them. We’re in a state of readiness to do that if we need to. Right now, I do not foresee an issue with the shelters unless we get into a situation where we had a prolonged power outage like we did with the tornadoes. We could have a shelter open in four hours.”
As of 2 p.m. Saturday, there were no storm-related road closures or power outages.
Beaufort County Schools had not announced any schedule changes for Monday.
Public information officer Sarah Hodges indicated that in the event of closures or delayed openings, parents will be notified via the automated call system and on the website.