Isaias Update #3

Key Information:  

  • The Village has issued a State of Emergency effective today at noon due to the expected impacts of Hurricane Isaias.  If the storm remains a Category 1 or less intense, a voluntary/mandatory evacuation is not expected.  It is very likely a curfew will be put in place, the timing of this is to be determined. The Village Council will meet again tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.
  • Storm track: Current NWS track still shows Hurricane Isaias passing the southeast coast of NC, the storm remains a Category 1 and its progress has slowed. Tropical storm force winds are expected to reach our area Monday evening. There is still a level of uncertainty in the track.
  • Weather impacts: 2-4 inches of rain, some flooding (not expected to be widespread), gusty wind (peak winds 75-80 on BHI), rough seas through the weekend.  High rip current threat through Tuesday. Tornadoes are possible. Storm surge is being looked at closely because of the full moon high tide Monday evening. The magnitude of these impacts is still uncertain and dependent on track.
  • Transportation expectations:  On 7/31 Bald Head Transportation Inc. announced that ferry customers should expect long lines, travel days, possible disruptions/suspended service Sunday through Tuesday.  Make travel plans now.  The Village will pass on updates from BHI Transportation as they become available.
  • “To do list” for renters/property owners who may be staying on the island through the storm.
  • All services on the island will be impacted by the storm – medically vulnerable persons should consider this, especially.

This morning, Village officials participated in a conference call with National Weather Service and Brunswick County Emergency Services partners ahead of the Council’s emergency meeting.  The storm track and weather impact updates from the call are noted above.  The Village will continue to keep a very close eye on the storm, evaluate the impacts it will have on our island, and respond accordingly.

The Village Council met at 11:30 a.m. today to discuss the Village’s response to Hurricane Isaias.  There was consensus to issue a State of Emergency in response to Hurricane Isaias.   The Village will not permit day visitors to the island, effective immediately. As long as the storm remains a Category 1 or weaker, there will not be a mandatory or voluntary evacuation.  There is a strong likelihood the Village will issue a curfew for the island.  This will be discussed further at another Council meeting scheduled for 3:00 p.m. tomorrow.

Last evening (7/31) Bald Head Island Transportation, Inc. shared the following regarding Hurricane Isaias: 

Ferry passengers should be prepared for long lines, travel delays, disruptions to service and/or suspended service from Sunday, August 2 through Tuesday, August 4 as the storm approaches and moves through our area. Please note: Bald Head Island Transportation, Inc. passenger ferries remain at 50% capacity (75 passengers) due to COVID-19 restrictions mandated by the NC Utilities Commission. If you have plans to travel to or from the island, we recommend you make your preparations sooner rather than later.

The Village will continue to pass on updates from Bald Head Island Transportation, Inc. as they become available.

If the storm remains relatively weak, the Village understands that there may be many renters or property owners who will be on the island, and for some, this may be their first experience with a hurricane on the coast.  The following are a few “to do” items that you may want to accomplish prior to the bad weather coming through:

  • Secure all outdoor items that could become projectiles in the strong winds.
  • Make sure all windows and doors are completely closed and locked.
  • Make sure you have enough drinking water on-hand for the rest of the week.
  • Prepare for the eventuality that there will be a loss of power – check for flashlights and batteries, make sure electronics remain charged, make extra ice, locate coolers, eat perishable foods first.
  • Do not unpack everything you need for the week in case conditions worsen and you have to evacuate.

Please note, all services on the island will be impacted throughout this storm event.  Many employers will be sending their folks home to attend to their personal property and families on the mainland, this includes the clubs, restaurants, and rental agencies who will be short-staffed. During a storm like this, the ability to transport persons experiencing medical emergencies could very well be impacted by the severe weather.  High-risk individuals should consider leaving the island. Power outages are a regular occurrence during these storms and restoration times can be longer for BHI than the mainland. Please take the lack of immediate and available services and potential loss of power on the island into account if you choose to stay during the storm.