The Latest: after Hurricane Matthew, power outages continue

Published 12:10 pm Sunday, October 9, 2016

8 p.m. Sunday


“Tideland’s transmission north of the Pamlico River is provided by Dominion Resources and that service was not uninterrupted. Washington, Pinetown, Pantego, Bath, Pungo, Roper and Plymouth were among the least impacted areas of Tideland’s service territory. As of 5 p.m., only 51 members on the Washington substation remain without power; 225 on the Sidney substation; 96 on the Plymouth substation; and 96 on the Five Points substation. Between the Sidney and Ponzer substation, 469 members remain without power.

Crews continue to work on substation power restoration in Fairfield and Engelhard. As a of result of those substation outages, we have 1,287 members without power in mainland Hyde County. Swan Quarter/Lake Comfort – 222 members out.”

Beaufort County remains under a flood advisory until 11:30 p.m., but all tropical weather warnings have been cancelled.

Please heed the Beaufort County Health Department’s guidelines for food and water precautions. View them here.


12 p.m. Sunday

A flood warning is in effect for Beaufort County until 11:30 p.m. tonight. Although the worst is over, emergency officials are still warning residents about floodwaters, flooding damage and high winds throughout the day.

With tens of thousands of power outages across the county, Tideland EMC sent out a press release this morning:

“We have been advised by emergency management officials in some counties of widespread flooding that will hinder road access in some locations until water levels recede. Based on those reports and damages reported to our call center, we anticipate power restoration activities will take 2 to 3 days to achieve full system operation. Please plan accordingly.

Exercise extreme caution and avoid downed power lines. Even if utility power is off, lines can become re-energized if a household generator backfeeds onto our electric system. If you do operate a generator make sure you operate it in a well-ventilated area and do not connect into your breaker panel without a proper double-pole double-throw switch.”


10 a.m. Sunday

Beaufort County Emergency Management is asking residents to keep travel to a minimum, and treat all intersections with nonworking lights as a four-way stop. Assume all downed power lines are energized. Use 911 for emergency purposes only.

Here is the latest data on Pamlico River water levels:


9 a.m. Sunday

Beaufort County Emergency Management is asking that all county water customers conserve water and limit water usage to drinking and hygiene purposes only. Due to power outages the county is unable to regenerate the water supply.

Winds are still gusting throughout the area, so those out clearing debris need to be vigilant about falling tree limbs, according to County Manager Brian Alligood. Other things to be aware of include:

  • Stay away from downed power lines
  • With power out for more than 12 hours for many, residents should throw out food that has not been consistently refrigerated
  • If a resident has a well, and that well has been covered by flood water, it should be considered contaminated
  • Flood waters should be considered contaminated. Stay out of them due to sewage overflows
  • Do not drive through high water


12 a.m. Sunday

Power outages continue across the county. Duke Energy officials say they are handling coastal lines and won’t restore power to inland areas until the morning. Tideland EMC has also stopped power restoration until 6 a.m.

Heavy rainfall is expected to taper off over the course of Sunday morning, but windy conditions will continue through the day.

Still a Category 1 storm, Hurricane Matthew’s eye is now offshore, as it continues moving east-northeast at 14 mph.

The following are dangerous areas:

Duck Creek Road (covered in water)
Camp Leach Estates (covered in water)
Hawkins Beach Road (covered in water)
West Bear Grass Road (covered in water)
7000 block of U.S. Highway 17 North to Woolard Road (covered in water)
Broad Creek Road and Cox Road (covered in water)
Horsepen Swamp Road and VOA Road (covered in water)
U.S. Highway 264 near Cratches (tree in road)
Cherry Run Road and VOA Road intersection (tree in road)
205 Windley Road (evacuation)
Bay View Road (covered in water)
Free Union Church Road at Christian School Road (covered in water)
40 Railroad St. (covered in water)
U.S. Highway 264 at Burbage Farms Road (covered in water)
N.C. Highway 99 at Schooners Point Road (covered in water)
More Lane (covered in water)
Windmill Road near Southside High School (covered in water)
Gilead Shores Road at Hills Creek Road (covered in water)
Ephesus Church Road at Camp Hardee Road (covered in water)
Old Blounts Creek Road at N.C. Highway 33 (covered in water)
Carrow Road between Taylor Road and N.C. Highway 33 (covered in water)
Carrow Road at Hodges Road (covered in water)
1900 block of N.C. Highway 33 (covered in water)
Elk Road and Hodges Road (covered in water)
3831 U.S. Highway 17 South (covered in water)
559 Hodges Road (tree in road)
N.C. Highway 97 near Swindell Road (covered in water)
6429 River Road (covered in water)
Idelia Road and West Road (covered in water)


10 p.m. Saturday

City Manager Bobby Roberson said Duke Energy has about 40 lines down across eastern North Carolina, and its first priority is returning power to coastal areas before moving inland.

“I think it will be 8:30, 9 in the morning before they start troubleshooting, so we definitely won’t have power until probably 10 o’clock tomorrow morning,” Roberson said.

A message from Beaufort County Emergency Management’s Hyper-Reach system reports widespread power outages across the county, and also says Duke Energy expects those outages to continue into Sunday.

Reports place power outage tallies in the tens of thousands.


9 p.m. Saturday


Hurricane Matthew’s track has deviated again, meaning Beaufort County can expect to see tropical storm-force winds and flooding well into Sunday.

County Manager Brian Alligood said the National Weather Service is now saying the area will likely see 50- to 60-mph wind gusts until noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, as well as a 3- to 5-foot storm surge, meaning water rise as high as 5 feet above ground.

“Obviously the track of the storm didn’t turn as quickly as anticipated. It lingered a little longer,” Alligood said.

In Washington, power went out for all Washington Utilities customers at approximately 8:20 p.m. City manager Bobby Roberson said the main feed from Duke Energy is down, and the cause has not yet been determined.

According to Alligood, NWS is now comparing the eastern North Carolina flooding to come as equal or exceeding that of Hurricane Floyd in 1999, a flood that devastated many communities and was responsible for several deaths. The Tar River is forecasted to crest in Greenville on Friday at 27 feet – only 2 feet below Floyd.

In Beaufort County more rain than seen so far is expected to fall overnight.

“The bulk of the rain has not yet fallen in the area,” Alligood said. “We’re expecting another 6 inches or so overnight.”

The rain, already-saturated ground and wind gusts will likely bring limbs and trees down, which will impact power supply across the region, Alligood said. But the main concern remains high water.

“There’s going to be a lot of river flooding. Folks need to stay out of high water. Don’t drive through it,” Alligood said.



8 p.m. Saturday

Hurricane Matthew remains a Category 1 storm, clocking 75-mph maximum sustained winds, and traveling east-northeast at 13 mph.

Matthew is predicted to move east into the Atlantic Ocean by Sunday afternoon. The National Weather Service is warning residents of dangerous wind gusts up to 60 mph.

Tideland EMC is reporting some power outages throughout its service area. There were more than 100 outages reported in Beaufort County as of 8:15 p.m. Washington Electric has lost power through Bath, as well. A Washington resident has also reported power outages in the Tranter’s Creek area. A transmission outage in the Edward area was reported at 8:30 p.m., causing more than 3,500 outages.

Crews have been dispatched to return residents’ power.

Emergency officials are urging residents to take precautions for potential power outages. Turn the temperatures in freezers and refrigerators down low, so they will keep cool for as long as possible. Residents can do the same with air conditioning if they choose. Charge all electronics for maximum use time. Get all flashlights and candles ready and on hand. As an extra precaution, make sure to have water bottles or run water in the bathtub to use for toilet flushing if the home has well water.


5 p.m. Saturday

A flash flood warning has been issued for Beaufort County until at least 11:30 p.m. The area remains under a tropical storm warning and a tornado watch.

Residents can also expect rainfall totals between 10-11 inches. The National Weather Service reports there is a high to extreme risk of flooding rain threat. Storm surges between 2-4 feet are also expected, with potentially higher surges in localized areas.

“This is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation! This could be the worst flooding event the area has faced since Hurricane Floyd,” the NWS report states.

Residents near Pamlico River and its connecting creeks should move to higher ground immediately. Avoid driving at all costs, and if one must drive, do not risk traveling through flooded roadways. The conditions are dangerous.

(National Weather Service)

(National Weather Service)

2 p.m. Saturday

Hurricane Matthew has downgraded to a Category 1 storm and is expected to weaken to a tropical storm within the next few hours.

Matthew is traveling northeast at 12 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.

Beaufort County is already experiencing high winds and rampant flooding. Heavy rains will continue through Sunday. The county is also under a tornado watch through Sunday, as well as a hurricane warning.

Shelters are open and available for residents at P.S. Jones Middle School and Southside High School. Due to potentially dangerous winds, transport buses to the shelters have stopped running.

Residents are urged to stay off the roads, and if they must travel, not to risk driving through flooding roads.