Municipalities step up preparation for Isaias

Published 4:17 pm Monday, August 3, 2020

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With Tropical Storm Isaias encroaching on North Carolina this evening, local municipalities have taken the necessary preparations to respond to the storm, whatever its track and intensity.


According to Aurora Mayor Clif Williams, the main concern there is the possibility of a prolonged power outage. Recently, the town was awarded a grant to install a new set of Generac backup generators at lift stations and town facilities, which would allow the town government to continue operating at full efficiency under emergency conditions. Those generators were scheduled to arrive in Aurora on Tuesday, Williams said.

“It’s too late for this one, but I have no doubt there will be more (storms),” Williams said. “We’ll be in a whole lot better shape, because when the whole town was out of power, we had no lift stations, we were having to shuffle around generators and town hall couldn’t open up. This way, town hall will still be able to open up after a hurricane, and we’ll be able to continue with business as usual.”


In Bath, town manager Bubs Carson says most boats at Bath Harbor Motel and Marina have been removed from the docks and placed on storm moorings in the creek, and many boat owners took their vessels out of the water over the weekend. Town staff spent the weekend fueling up generators and equipment, removing items that could potentially become airborne hazards and inspecting storm drains.

“Pretty much the normal preparation in our town has taken place and is continuing to take place,” Carson said.


Monday afternoon, Belhaven Mayor Ricky Credle declared a state of emergency for the town, a move that would allow the town to possibly receive state or federal compensation for costs incurred during response to Isaias. Belhaven Town Manager Lynn Davis said the town took some precautionary measures starting Friday, including staging possible barricades and moving some equipment to higher ground.

“Today, it’s business as usual, but you’re seeing a lot more activity with our citizens taking precautions, moving things and securing their property,” Davis said. “At this point, the predictions for the amount of storm surge are something we should be able to handle without much issue.”

Belhaven officials encouraged residents to join the town’s “all call” list to receive-hurricane related updates. To join, text “JOIN TOBNC” to 30890.


In Chocowinity, Mayor Jimmy Mobley says municipal crews have generators prepared to keep the town’s water and sewer systems up and running in the case of a power outage.

“If the power does go out, if people will be a little conservative, we should have no power with water and sewer,” Mobley said.


According to Pantego Mayor Stuart Ricks, the town is prepared, but he doesn’t anticipate many issues as a result of Isaias.


According to a Sunday update from the City of Washington, public works crews began cleaning storm drains last Thursday in anticipation of the storm. Pumps at Jacks Creek were running over the weekend to bring down the creek’s water level, and stormwater intakes were inspected in the area of 15th Street, Brown Street and Minuteman Lane, areas known for flooding issues during tropical weather.

“Additional police and fire personnel will remain on standby for the duration of the storm in the event that any additional assistance is needed for flooding, evacuations,” the update read.

The city asks residents who usually have their trash picked up on Tuesdays not to put out bins Monday night. Pickup routes will be delayed until Tuesday morning.


Washington Park, like Belhaven, also issued a state of emergency Monday afternoon, according to Washington Park Mayor Tom Richter. He said the town’s staff has taken precautions like picking up loose debris and moving vehicles to higher ground. Trash collections in Washington Park have been delayed until after 10 a.m. Tuesday.