8/30/2023 – 12:00 p.m.
Idalia made landfall on the west coast of Florida as a Category 3 hurricane earlier this morning. The storm is expected to move across southeast Georgia later today to the South Carolina coast late tonight. The BHI area is still under a tropical storm watch. There is a possibility that Idalia will be a strong tropical storm or hurricane early Thursday morning as it moves near the South Carolina coast.
Potential impacts include:
- Heavy rainfall and dangerous flash flooding (2-3 inches for BHI area)
- A few tornadoes and waterspouts
- Some storm surge (1-3 feet)/coastal flooding
- Gusty winds exceeding 40 mph (tropical storm force)
- Strong rip currents at the beaches from Hurricane Franklin & Idalia – these will linger through the end of the week after these storms have passed
- Hazardous maritime conditions
The latest briefings from the National Weather Service Wilmington office can be viewed HERE. The last briefing was at 7:00 a.m. today (8/30), the next briefing is expected around 2:00 p.m. today (8/30).
Bald Head Island Transportation, Inc. has made the following announcement:
Due to severe weather anticipated to impact the area from Hurricane IDALIA and in accordance with Coast Guard direction, the ferry will suspend service after the 11:30 p.m. departure from Bald Head Island on Wednesday 8/30. Service will resume once weather conditions improve and the Coast Guard authorizes the ferry to resume service anticipated late Thursday afternoon/evening. Those planning to leave early may try to change their reservation online to coordinate a tram pickup, but available options are limited. Please DO NOT CALL to have your reservation changed. In order to accommodate all passengers desiring to leave the island early, we will be boarding passengers on a first-come, first-served basis for both the contractor and passenger ferries throughout Wednesday. If you are unable to change your reservation for tram pickup, please transport your luggage and majority of your party to the ferry terminal, then notify the tram coordinator where the final member of your party needs to be picked up. We will provide updates when service may resume. Village safety and recovery personnel will be prioritized for boarding once service resumes. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
The Village has no expectation of issuing an evacuation (voluntary or mandatory). Since it is the call of the US Coast Guard to reopen the river to boat traffic, and not the call of Bald Head Island Transportation, Inc., or the Village, there is no guarantee when ferry service will resume. If you are not comfortable with the possibility of having no transportation options for leaving the island through at least Friday, please make plans to leave the island today. If you have guests or visitors please let them know about the options and if they are planning to stay please advise them of the conditions we are communicating in this message (they can get updates on our website at villagebhi.org and access our social media channels via our LinkTree at linktree.com/villagebhi).
If you have not already, please secure all outdoor items that could get blown away by strong winds. Also, prepare for the loss of power. Go HERE for information on what to do if your power goes out.
Please get out and about now because as weather conditions deteriorate, we would like folks to do what they can to stay off the roads. The heavy wind and rain will make them less safe to travel. There is currently a high risk of rip currents from Hurricane Franklin and this risk will be present through the next few days with the passing of Idalia and will linger through the end of the week. Beachgoers are advised to stay out of the water.
Village offices will close today at 12:30 p.m. Essential staff will remain on the island today and will be on the island tomorrow (8/31). Village’s offices, including the Island Package Center and Post Office and Public Safety administration will be closed tomorrow (8/31). As always, please call 911 if you need Public Safety to come to you and let the operator know you are on Bald Head Island. If you experience an issue with your water or sewer service, through Thursday, please call the after-hours number (910) 616-7716.
First-class mail WILL NOT be delivered on time tomorrow (8/31) due to the suspension of the ferry service so mail will likely not be put up until Friday morning. Barge service will be suspended at 12:30 today and likely until Friday at 7:00 a.m. FedEX and UPS packages that arrive in Southport today and tomorrow may not make it to the island until Friday. Check our package tracker for the status of your packages (HERE).
All pre-storm activities have been completed by Village Staff to include beach preparation, securing of waste receptacles, vehicle and equipment fueling, and clean up of storm swales and storm drains. The Village and the Club are in contact regarding the water level of the lagoons and the Village is prepared to take action to reduce levels via the bypass as necessary.
Tonight’s Howl at the Moon has been canceled due to tropical storm forecast. If conditions have deteriorated for the moonrise tonight, put safety first and stay off the roads.
Please stay connected to your trusted weather source for further developments.
The Village expects to use its social media channels to post photos and videos of conditions on the island. Use the LinkTree link below to access those channels.