Municipalities preparing for possible Dorian impacts

Published 3:30 pm Monday, September 2, 2019

While any potential impacts from Hurricane Dorian are still a few days away, municipalities throughout Beaufort County are monitoring the storm and making preparations for potential impacts.


In Belhaven, where Hurricane Florence brought widespread flooding less than a year ago, the municipality is taking Dorian seriously according to Belhaven Town Manager Lynn Davis. Municipal staff have a meeting scheduled for Tuesday morning to assess the situation and make necessary preparations.

“I’ve been reviewing my notes all weekend on what we did right last year and trying not to do some things too early and some things too late,” Davis said. “We are fortunate that, at our last council meeting, that night we awarded a contract for our debris removal. The first step is going to be looking at the town’s property and making sure all of that is secured, but simultaneously we’ll be sending out alert information to our citizens using our phone alert system. We’ll continue to notify them should any additional news and information arise.”

While Davis said most Belhaven residents are already signed up for that system, those who wish to receive alerts from the town can text “Join TOBNC” to 30890.


Aside from monitoring the storm closely, Washington City Manager Jonathan Russell says municipal staff in Washington will be taking proactive measures this week to prepare for possible impacts. In preparation for hurricanes, the city has an emergency response plan in place to help ensure the safety of its residents.

“On the front end, we’re trying to make sure all the storm drains are open to help any rainwater we have move along as quickly as possible,” Russell said. “We’re checking all generators to ensure water and sewer continue to function properly, and the electric department is on full standby as well.”

Russell encouraged Washington residents to take the storm seriously and to prepare by securing loose items that could be moved by wind and water.


In Bath on Monday, Town Manager Bubs Carson said many residents had begun the process of removing items from flood-prone areas. Boat owners also have started process of taking vessels out of the water. As for the town itself, Carson said there would likely be preparations to take care of any trees that might pose a danger in strong winds.

“We’re probably going to try to address any tree that we may feel poses a danger, either through disease or something like that,” Carson said. “We’ve got a tree contractor coming in before the storm just to give us a good inspection and address some of those issues if we have any. I think from Bath’s perspective, everybody is in the pre-stages of hurricane preparedness.”


While Chocowinity sits at a higher elevation than most other Beaufort County municipalities and is less prone to flooding than others, Mayor Jimmy Mobley says the town’s water and sewer system is the biggest concern during a hurricane. Keeping the generators up and running to keep the flow going is a priority for publics works staff in the town, and Mobley encourages residents to limit their water consumption and sewage output should the storm come through.

“We don’t anticipate running out of water, because we have generators and can still process and treat water,” Mobley said. “We just ask people to conserve, if they will.”


In Pantego, Mayor Stuart Ricks says the town is keeping an eye on the storm, with any possible decisions coming early Wednesday.

Attempts to contact municipal leaders in Aurora and Washington Park were unsuccessful as of press time on Monday.