Category: Hurricane

November 7th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Here are some SBA numbers for the State and local area:

Statewide

• FEMA Referrals: 98,665

• Dollars Approved: $267,658,400

• Over 90 percent of approved loans were awarded to homeowners and renters

Carteret County

• FEMA Referrals: 7,809

• Dollars Approved: $29,090,400

Craven County

• FEMA Referrals : 8,543

• Dollars Approved: $46,745,800

Jones County

• FEMA Referrals: 1,361

• Dollars Approved: $11,476,300

Lenoir County

• FEMA Referrals: 982

• Dollars Approved: $1,732,100

Onslow County

• FEMA Referrals: 15,746

• Dollars Approved: $31,224,800

Pamlico County

• FEMA Referrals; 1,193

• Dollars Approved: $5,551,900

Here is the list of disaster recovery centers that are operating:

• Craven County

Old Rite-Aid Building

710 Degraffenreid Avenue

New Bern

Rue 21 Clothing Store

537 Hwy 70 West, Suite 103

Havelock

• Jones County

County Civic Center

794 Highway 58 South

Trenton

• Pamlico County

Grantsboro Town Hall

10628 NC Hwy 55E

Grantsboro

• The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest, long-term federal disaster loans for businesses of all sizes, non-profits, homeowners,  and renters. Those had property damage from Hurricane Florence and/or Michael should first register with FEMA. If referred to SBA by FEMA, it is important to complete a disaster loan application. Completing the disaster loan application is an important part of the disaster recovery process.

• Homeowners may apply for disaster loans up to $200,000 to repair damage to their primary residences. Homeowners and renters may apply for disaster loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace their personal belongings including the contents of their homes and cars. The interest rate for homeowners is as low as 2.0% with terms up to 30 years.

• Businesses may apply for disaster loans up to $2 million to repair or replace business assets such as buildings, inventory, and supplies. Businesses may also apply for working capital to help pay the bills they would have been able to pay if the hurricane had not happened.

• Do not wait on an insurance settlement before submitting a SBA loan application. Applicants can begin the recovery immediately with a low-interest SBA disaster loan. The loan balance will be reduced by your insurance settlement if you receive one. SBA loans may be available for disaster-related car repairs, clothing, household items and other expenses.

There are three ways to apply:

1 Online at disasterloan.sba.gov

2 In person at a disaster recovery center

3 By phone, 800-659-2955

Posted in Hurricane, New Bern, SBA

November 7th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is encouraging those affected by Hurricane Florence from Sept. 8 through Oct. 8, 2018 in North Carolina to submit their completed applications, even if they have not settled with their insurance company.

“Waiting to file an SBA application could cause unnecessary delays in receiving disaster assistance, and survivors may miss the application deadline. Returning the loan application is an essential part of the disaster recovery process,” said Kem Fleming, director of SBA Field Operations Center East.

If a survivor does not know how much of their loss will be covered by insurance or other sources, SBA will consider making a loan for the total loss up to its loan limits, provided the borrower agrees to use insurance proceeds to reduce or repay their SBA loan.

Physical disaster loans are available to businesses of all sizes, non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged property, including contents and automobiles. Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes having difficulties meeting operating expenses because of the disaster.

Interest rates are as low as 3.675 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for non-profit organizations and 2 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.

Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Completed applications should be returned to a center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. For more information about SBA recovery assistance, visit www.sba.gov.

The SBA has extended the deadline to apply for physical disaster damages in North Carolina. Businesses and individuals with physical damages caused by Hurricane Florence on Sept. 7 – 29, 2018, should apply for SBA low-interest disaster loans before the Dec. 13, 2018 deadline.

Posted in FEMA, Hurricane, New Bern, SBA

November 7th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has extended the deadline to apply for physical disaster damages in North Carolina. Businesses and individuals with physical damages caused by Hurricane Florence on Sept. 7 – 29, 2018, should apply for SBA low-interest disaster loans before the Dec. 13,

The disaster declaration covers the North Carolina counties of Anson, Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Chatham, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Durham, Greene, Guilford, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Orange, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Union, Wayne and Wilson; for economic injury only in the contiguous North Carolina counties of Alamance, Cabarrus, Caswell, Dare, Davidson, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Granville, Martin, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Nash, Person, Randolph, Rockingham, Stanly, Stokes, Tyrrell, Wake and Washington; and the contiguous South Carolina counties of Chesterfield, Dillon, Horry, Lancaster and Marlboro.

SBA disaster loans are available to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters to cover uninsured losses from the disaster. Interest rates are as low as 3.675 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations, and 2.0 percent for homeowners and renters. Loan terms can be up to 30 years.

Economic injury disaster loans are also available to provide disaster related working capital to small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.

Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 13, 2018. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 14, 2019.

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

Posted in Craven County, Economy and Employment, FEMA, Housing, Hurricane, New Bern, SBA

November 7th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Survivors of Hurricane Florence who apply for disaster assistance from FEMA may be contacted by the U.S. Small Business Administration with information on how to apply for a disaster loan.

SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters. Next to insurance, SBA low-interest disaster loans are the primary source of funds for real estate property repairs and replacing contents destroyed during Hurricane Florence.

Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 from SBA to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury.

There’s no obligation to accept a disaster loan, but survivors may miss out on the largest source of federal disaster recovery funds if they don’t submit an application.

These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other resources. Survivors should not wait for an insurance settlement before submitting an SBA loan application. They may discover they were underinsured for the labor and materials required to repair or replace their home. An SBA low-interest disaster loan can cover the gap.

If survivors have not settled with their insurance agency, SBA can make them a loan for the full amount of their losses. They can then use their insurance proceeds to reduce or pay off the SBA loan.

By law, both FEMA and SBA cannot duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

If applicants don’t qualify for a loan, SBA will refer them back to FEMA and they could be considered for other FEMA grants under Other Needs Assistance.

Examples of Other Needs Assistance that do not depend on completing the SBA application include:

  • Disaster-related medical and dental expenses.
  • Disaster-related funeral and burial expenses.
  • Increased cost of child-care expenses.
  • Miscellaneous items, such as smoke detectors and weather radios.
  • Other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other sources.

Some types of ONA that do require an SBA loan application include:

  • Personal property replacement.
  • Moving and storage fees.
  • Financial help with disaster-caused vehicle repair or replacement expenses.

In planning their recovery, survivors should give themselves the widest possible set of options. Submitting the application makes it possible to be considered for additional grants, and if they qualify for a loan they will have that resource available if they choose to use it.

Information about low-interest SBA disaster loans, application forms, and where to get help with an application are available online at SBA.gov/disaster. Survivors may also call 800-659- 2955 or 800-877-8339 (TTY) or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Applicants may Apply Online for Disaster Loan Assistance, or at any disaster recovery center.

The centers serve as one-stop shops for survivors who need one-on-one help. Survivors can visit any center for assistance. To find center locations and current hours, download the FEMA mobile app in English, the FEMA mobile app in Spanish, the ReadyNC app, or visit FEMA.gov/DRC. SBA has staff at all centers to provide one-on-one assistance to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes.

You can watch an online video in American Sign Language that explains the Reasons to Apply for an SBA Loan.

For more information on North Carolina’s recovery from Hurricane Florence, visit ncdps.gov/Florence and FEMA.gov/Disaster/4393. Follow us on Twitter: @NCEmergency and @FEMARegion4.

Posted in FEMA, Hurricane, New Bern, SBA

November 7th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The City of New Bern will resume certain utility fees that were suspended during hurricane Florence.

Due to the storm’s widespread impact across our area, the Board of Aldermen unanimously agreed in September to temporarily suspend late fees, delinquencies and shutoffs for nonpayment.  The Board also agreed to waive new deposits for current customers until mid-November.  These actions effectively extended the due date of unpaid bills until such time that the City could recover from the hurricane.

All past due amounts must be brought current by close of business on Friday, Dec. 7.  If customers are unable to get caught up or current, they are encouraged to visit the Utility Business Office (UBO) at 606 Fort Totten Drive and speak to a customer service representative about a special storm payment arrangement.

The UBO is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  No appointment is necessary.  However, appointments are encouraged to reduce customer wait time.

These special storm payment arrangements will not count toward the four payment arrangements allowed each fiscal year under the City’s current business practices, but customers must remain current once the arrangement is made.

If the special storm payment arrangement is broken, the past due account balance must be paid in full.  Attached is a document reflecting our business practices in regards to deposits and payment arrangements.

Late fees, delinquent fees and shutoffs for nonpayment will resume after Dec. 7.  Deposit requirements will resume after Nov. 15.  Deposits caused by late and delinquent actions will resume after Dec. 7.

The reinstatement of fees comes more than 80 days after hurricane Florence ravaged New Bern and eastern North Carolina.

“The Board of Aldermen and management staff have carefully considered this resumption of fees after the storm,” said Mark Stephens, City Manager. “We remain sympathetic to the hardships faced by our residents and are implementing special storm payment arrangements to ease the burden on our customers.  We appreciate the community’s understanding during this recovery process.”

Utility staff are prepared to answer questions and assist customers with payment arrangements. As a reminder, customers have several options for paying City of New Bern utility bills: online at www.newbernnc.gov, at the Utility Business Office, and at Walmart stores in this area.

Posted in Board of Aldermen, Community issues, Hurricane, Infrastructure, New Bern, Utilities

October 30th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Homeowners who have been impacted by Hurricane Florence have a valid “Natural Disaster” hardship.

Due to this hardship, there may be viable relief options available to homeowners from their mortgage companies, but homeowners may have no idea what is available and how to accomplish securing mortgage relief.

A two hour presentation for homeowners with a mortgage loan will cover the following:

First Hour ​​(55 Minutes)

  • Introduction
  • What Constitutes Disaster? C. Who Is Covered?
  • What Can Be Done?

Second Hour ​​ (55 Minutes)

What Documents Are Needed?

Where to Send Financial Packages?

What Is The Process?

How Long Should It Take?

What If Things Go Wrong?

Closing

Attendees will receive additional resources via email. Both the morning and afternoon sessions are the exact same information.

The same event twice is offered twice:

Saturday, Nov. 3, Garber Methodist Church, 4201 Country Club Road, Trent Woods.

Morning Session 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Check-in and seating beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Afternoon Session 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. – Check-in and seating beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Seating is Limited – Register via Eventbrite or call 252-474-8288

Homeowners with a mortgage who have damaged homes and/or are displaced from their homes may be eligible for mortgage relief.

● This will not help renters.

● This will not help homeowners who own their home outright.

● The focus is on primary & secondary residences. This will not be a session for owners of

investment properties who need mortgage relief on investment properties.

Homeowners who have had a loss and/or interruption in employment because of the hurricane may be eligible for mortgage relief.

● Employer experienced damage during the hurricane and may be closed for repairs and/or closed permanently.

● Agricultural loss of crop, harvest and/or livestock from the hurricane.

● Self employed and/or work from home and unable to work because of home damage.

Who do you know that needs mortgage relief?

● Up to one year with no mortgage payments

● No late fees

● No delinquencies reported to the credit bureaus

● The ability to negotiate how to catch up on payments without making a balloon payment.

Types of available assistance:

Moratorium​​: legal authorization to delay payment of money due or to suspend an activity.

This workout option is typically used for disaster.

Repayment​​: the most common relief is a repayment plan. This is a written agreement that allows the homeowner to bring the loan current within a given period of time by making scheduled payments toward the delinquent amount in addition to regular monthly payments.

Forbearance​​: the mortgage servicer, insurer and investor agree to delay foreclosure or other legal action in return for the homeowner’s promise to pay the debt by a specific date.

Modification​​: written agreement permanently changing one or more of the original terms of the mortgage note: type, rate, term or capitalize delinquency.

Julia Iden, Guest Speaker

Julia Iden is the founding partner of Advance Mortgage Education Incorporated.

She started working in the mortgage industry in 1987. Her career has mainly revolved around defaulted mortgages and helping limit the losses caused by default. She held positions as a claims auditor, loss mitigation negotiator, and corporate default manager for GE Mortgage Insurance Company. Prior to starting Advance Mortgage Education, Iden worked as the loss mitigation consultant for Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, one of the largest mortgage investors in the country. She spent three years on-site in Washington Mutual’s loss mitigation department managing the Freddie Mac delinquent portfolio.

Posted in Housing, Hurricane, New Bern

October 30th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Girl Scouts from Washington State sent blankets and homemade cards for children in New Bern that were delivered to RCS and shared with the Coastal Women’s Shelter.

The blankets and cards were delivered Tuesday morning.

Posted in Hurricane

October 26th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

A dental office out of Durham brought smiles this week to the residents of a Red Cross shelter operating in New Bern.

Christi Bintliff and Kim Dodson of Croasdaile Dental Arts delivered 6,000 comfort and cleaning items, along with 800 pounds of dog food, on Friday to the West New Bern Recreation Center for distribution to storm victims in Eastern North Carolina.

The American Red Cross is still sheltering more than 60 displaced Craven County residents at the rec Center more than a month after Hurricane Florence made landfall and caused significant flooding in the region.

Bintliff, the dental practice administrator, said they knew that the community would still have needs after the initial outpouring of support that comes in the wake of any large-scale disaster and that they were blessed to be able to assist in meeting them.

The truckload delivered Friday was filled with donations the dental practice collected from its clients and then matched. Bahama Road Veterinary Clinic from Bahama, just outside of Durham, pitched in with the dog food.

Red Cross Volunteer Lallita Andrews, the shelter manager, accepted the delivery. She noted that not only would the shelter clients benefit from the items but that members of the community who stop by for assistance would also be helped by the donation.

New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw was also on hand to help offload the donations and thank the team for the delivery on behalf of the community.

Posted in Hurricane, New Bern

October 25th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The City of New Bern will resume downtown parking enforcement on Monday, Oct. 29.  Enforcement operations were suspended during the hurricane due to the widespread devastation of infrastructure and the impacts to city residents, families, businesses and nonprofit organizations.

For a refresher on downtown parking regulations, visitor parking lots, construction & emergency repair parking permits, and how to apply for a leased parking space, visit our Parking & Transportation page. On-street parking is enforced Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is waiving fees for the replacement of vital records that were lost of damaged during hurricane Florence.  Go to https://vitalrecords.nc.gov/orderreplacement.htm for more information.

Posted in Hurricane, New Bern

October 25th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The City of New Bern has announced a final pass for hurricane Florence debris pickup.

All vegetative and construction demolition debris must be placed curbside before Monday, Nov. 5.  Contractor crews will start on that day and spend several days completing this final pass.

During a work session Tuesday, the Board of Aldermen discussed phasing out debris collection and supported this final pickup.

Residents are encouraged to collect all remaining storm debris and place it curbside, but not in the street, for pickup.  As a reminder, debris must be separated into three piles:  vegetative, construction demolition, and household appliances/electronics.  Push your piles as close to the curb as possible, away from power lines, so that our equipment can pick it up.

No new construction materials – wood, plywood, PVC, insulation, new appliance packaging – will be accepted.  Homeowners whose properties are undergoing new construction should have their contractor dispose of those materials at the landfill located at 7400 Old U.S. Highway 70 West.

Once final pickup is complete on a city street, that street will be inspected and certified by the contractor and the City.  ‘L

“As part of the closeout process, we will mark that street as complete, so the contractor knows – and we want to know – that they have hit every street in the city on their final pass,” said City Manager Mark Stephens.  If you feel your street has been missed during the final pass, please contact the Department of Public Works at 252-639-7501.

When the final pass is complete, Public Works will resume its regular weekly vegetative collection schedule.  Note that all debris placed curbside after the final pass must adhere to the City’s size and length restrictions: no greater than 5 inches in diameter and no longer than 5 feet in length.

Click here to visit the Public Works Leaf & Limb Information page on our website to review collection guidelines and find out when your scheduled pickup day is.

So far, contractor and mutual aid crews have collected 137,353 cubic yards of vegetative debris and 7,033 tons of construction debris within city limits.  Special thanks to our contractor Phillips & Jordan, city crews, and the cities and towns of Raleigh, Charlotte, Rocky Mount, Greenville, Hendersonville, Garner, Harrisburg, Wilson, and Salisbury for their assistance with debris collection.

Posted in Hurricane, New Bern

October 22nd, 2018 by newbernpostadmin
Flooding on Sept .18, 2018, in Carbonton

The impact of the 2018 tropical systems in North Carolina wasn’t confined to coastal areas. Near the state’s geographical center, the route of N.C. 42 through Carbonton runs under floodwaters from the Deep River on Sept. 18, in eastern Chatham County, near Lee and Moore counties. Courtesy of the N.C. Department of Transportation.

CAROLINA PUBLIC PRESS | Hurricanes Florence and Michael caused school districts in their paths to miss several days of school. The state is helping districts avoid official penalties, but educators across the state are divided about the long-term wisdom of losing so many days of instruction.

As school districts recovered from Florence, Gov. Roy Cooper signed legislation Oct. 3 to grant calendar flexibility to schools in districts with federal disaster declarations. This allows the districts to waive up to 20 days of absences if they choose to. That choice isn’t necessarily automatic.

According to the N.C. Department of Public Safety, 30 counties have been federally declared for both individual assistance and public assistance, and 11 counties have been declared for public assistance only. School districts located in counties with either of these types of declarations can take advantage of the waiver policy. Although the legislation originally applied to those affected by Florence, it also covers districts with declarations due to Michael.

Valita Quattlebaum, chief communications officer for New Hanover County Schools, said her district will be using this waiver in addition to creating a new calendar to recoup days. Hurricane Florence heavily affected the coastal district’s schools and means of transportation, she said.

“We were out 17 days,” Quattlebaum said. “We had to get our buildings cleaned up, we had to clear up debris and make our campus safe enough for students to go into. We had repairs to do, get rid of damaged furniture, things that had gotten wet.”

More

Posted in Craven County Schools, Education, Hurricane, State news, State politics

October 16th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

WHAT: Information session, “Working with the Division of Employment during a Disaster.” Presented by Lockhart Taylor, the Assistant Secretary for Employment Security for the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

WHERE: Bosch Advanced Manufacturing Center (Bosch AMC) Room 102, Craven Community College (Craven CC), 800 College Court, New Bern NC, 28562

WHEN: Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, 6-8 p.m.

WHO: Small business employers, small business owners, self-employed

WHY: Offered by the Small Business Center at Craven CC, the purpose of this information session by the NC Division of Employment is to help business owners and self-employed in understanding Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). The session will welcome questions about DUA as well as Unemployment Insurance.

HOW: Online registration is requested by visiting www.cravencc.edu/sbc.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information call 252-638-1166 or email sbc@cravencc.edu.

Posted in Business, Craven Community College, Economy and Employment, Hurricane, New Bern

October 12th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The following schools are currently on normal hours for students, Friday Oct.12.

◦ Ben D. Quinn Elementary

◦ Bridgeton Elementary School

◦ Craven Early College

◦ Creekside Elementary School

◦ Early College EAST

◦ Grover C. Fields Middle School

◦ New Bern High School

◦ Oaks Road Academy

◦ West Craven High School

◦ Vanceboro Farm Life Elementary

If you are interested in reviewing the Air Quality Reports for the Cleared schools from the External Industrial Hygienist Click HERE. An Information Session for Parents will be held on Friday, Oct. 12 at 9 a.m. at the Board of Education.

Craven County parents, whose families have been displaced due to Hurricane Florence can visit the HERE and provide information so that the school district can reach out to help.

Posted in Craven County, Craven County Schools, Hurricane, New Bern

October 10th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Due to the projected forecast of Hurricane Michael, Craven County Schools will be closed Thursday, Oct. 11 for students and staff of the eight schools that reopened this week, along with Early College Campuses. Officials will monitor the situation before deciding whether school should be closed Friday, as well.

Students and staff of the 15 other school sites that had not yet reopened due to continuing issues from Hurricane Florence will remain closed..

Schools affected by the Thursday closure are Oaks Road Academy, Creekside Elementary, Ben D. Quinn Elementary, Bridgeton Elementary, Vanceboro Farm Life Elementary, Grover C. Fields Middle, New Bern High, and West Craven High.

Custodians and maintenance staff are asked to report as normal unless contacted by their immediate supervisor.

Central Office Staff should plan to report if safely able to do so.

District officials will continue to monitor the storm during the next 24 hours and share any updated information regarding Friday as soon as possible.

Posted in Craven County Schools, Education, Hurricane, New Bern

October 10th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The five-day cone prediction of Hurricane Michael as issued by the National Hurricane Center at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for New Bern and surrounding areas as Hurricane Michael is set to make landfall in the Florida panhandle today.

Tonight’s forecast is showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 76. Southeast wind 7 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

On Thursday, tropical storm conditions possible. Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. High near 83. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Thursday night, tropical storm conditions possible. Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Low around 71. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

On Friday, showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 8 a.m., then a chance of showers between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Mostly sunny, with a high near 77. North wind 9 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Clearing is expected Friday evening, with sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s on Saturday and Sunday.

Here is addition information from the National Weather Service:

Hurricane Michael is expected to make landfall as a major hurricane
along the Florida Panhandle today, then weaken to a tropical storm as
it tracks through the Carolinas Thursday and Thursday night.

Tropical storm force winds, especially in gusts, are expected across
Eastern North Carolina later Thursday afternoon through early Friday.
The strongest winds are expected near the coast and areas adjacent to
the sounds. Winds along the coast could gust 50 to 70 mph, while inland
areas could see gusts of 40 to 50 mph. These winds could result in downed
trees causing sporadic power outages, and even some minor structural
damage. Be sure to secure any tarps on rooftops from previous storm
damage.

Periods of heavy rain are expected today through late Thursday night.
At this time rainfall is expected to range from 2 to 3 inches near the
coast to 3 to 5 inches well inland, with locally higher amounts. This
could result in localized flash flooding given the already saturated
ground and debris from Florence potentially clogging drainages. River
levels along the Tar and Neuse are expected to reach moderate flood
stage late this weekend and early next week.

Some minor to locally moderate storm surge impacts will be possible
with Michael. Based on the current forecast track, minor inundation of
1 to 3 feet above ground level will be possible for areas along the
coast and adjacent to the sounds. Local amounts of 2 to 4 feet above
ground may be possible on the sound side of the Outer Banks,
especially north of Cape Hatteras late Thursday night and early Friday
as Michael lifts north of the area. A slight shift in the track could
change which locations may see the most inundation. Minor beach
erosion and overwash will be possible along the beaches as well due to
wave run up.

A few tornadoes will be possible Thursday and Thursday night.

Dangerous marine conditions are also expected, with seas building to
10 to 20 feet. A high threat of rip currents and large and dangerous
shore break is expected.

POTENTIAL IMPACTS
—————–

* WIND:
Prepare for hazardous wind having possible limited impacts across
Eastern North Carolina. Potential impacts include:
– Damage to porches, awnings, carports, sheds, and unanchored
mobile homes. Unsecured lightweight objects blown about.
– Many large tree limbs broken off. A
Be sure to let friends and family members know of your intentions for
weathering the storm and your whereabouts. Have someone located away
from the threatened area serve as your point of contact. Share vital
contact information with others. Keep cell phones handy and charged.few trees snapped or
uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are
shallow rooted. Some fences and roadway signs blown over.
– A few roads impassable from debris, particularly within urban
or heavily wooded places. Hazardous driving conditions on
bridges and other elevated roadways.
– Scattered power and communications outages.

* FLOODING RAIN:
Prepare for dangerous rainfall flooding having possible significant
impacts across portions of Eastern North Carolina. Potential impacts
include:
– Moderate rainfall flooding may prompt several evacuations and
rescues.
– Rivers and tributaries may quickly become swollen with swifter
currents and overspill their banks in a few places, especially
in usually vulnerable spots. Small streams, creeks, canals, and
ditches overflow.
– Flood waters can enter some structures or weaken foundations.
Several places may experience expanded areas of rapid
inundation at underpasses, low-lying spots, and poor drainage
areas. Some streets and parking lots take on moving water as
storm drains and retention ponds overflow. Driving conditions
become hazardous. Some road and bridge closures.

* SURGE:
Prepare for locally hazardous surge having possible limited impacts
across coastal areas of Eastern North Carolina, especially for the sound
side of the Outer Banks north of Cape Hatteras. Potential impacts in this
area include:
– Localized inundation with storm surge flooding mainly along
immediate shorelines and in low-lying spots, or in areas
farther inland near where higher surge waters move ashore.
– Sections of near-shore roads and parking lots become overspread
with surge water. Driving conditions dangerous in places where
surge water covers the road.
– Moderate beach erosion. Heavy surf also breaching dunes, mainly
in usually vulnerable locations. Strong rip currents.
– Minor to locally moderate damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks,
and piers. A few small craft broken away from moorings.

* TORNADOES:
Prepare for a tornado event having possible limited impacts across
Eastern North Carolina. Potential impacts include:
– The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution
of emergency plans during tropical events.
– A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power
and communications disruptions.
– Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys
toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned,
large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow-rooted trees
knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats
pulled from moorings.
Be sure to let friends and family members know of your intentions for
weathering the storm and your whereabouts. Have someone located away
from the threatened area serve as your point of contact. Share vital
contact information with others. Keep cell phones handy and charged.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS
———————————-

* EVACUATIONS:
Listen to local official for recommended preparedness actions,
including possible evacuation. If ordered to evacuate, do so
immediately.

For those not under evacuation orders, assess the risk from wind,
falling trees, and flooding at your location. If you decide to move,
relocate to a safer location nearby. If you do not relocate, help
keep roadways open for those under evacuation orders.

* OTHER PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION:
Now is the time to check your emergency plan and emergency supplies
kit and take necessary actions to protect your family and secure your
home or business.

When making safety and preparedness decisions, do not focus on the
exact forecast track since hazards such as flooding rain, damaging
wind gusts, storm surge, and tornadoes extend well away from the
center of the storm.

If in a place that is vulnerable to high wind, such as near large
trees, a manufactured home, upper floors of a high-rise building, or
on a boat, plan to move to safe shelter.

If you live in a place particularly vulnerable to flooding, such as
near the ocean or a large inland lake, in a low-lying or poor
drainage area, in a valley, or near an already swollen river, plan to
move to safe shelter on higher ground.

When securing your property, outside preparations should be concluded
as soon as possible before conditions deteriorate. The onset of
strong gusty winds or flooding can cause certain preparedness
activities to become unsafe.

Check on those who may not be fully aware of the situation or who are
unable to make personal preparations.

Closely monitor weather.gov, NOAA Weather Radio and local news
outlets for official storm information. Listen for possible changes
to the forecast.

There is a threat from tornadoes with this storm. Have multiple ways
to receive Tornado Warnings. Be ready to shelter quickly.

* ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION:
– For information on appropriate preparations see ready.gov
– For information on creating an emergency plan see getagameplan.org
– For additional disaster preparedness information see redcross.org

 

 

Posted in Craven County, Hurricane

October 10th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing food safety recommendations for those who may be impacted by Hurricane Michael.

The National Hurricane Center expects storm surge and hurricane force winds in portions of Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Heavy rainfall from Hurricane Michael could produce flash flooding from the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region into portions of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and southeast Virginia.

Hurricanes present the possibility of power outages and flooding that can compromise the safety of stored food. Residents in the path of this storm should pay close attention to the forecast. FSIS recommends that consumers take the following steps to reduce food waste and the risk of foodborne illness during this and other severe weather events.

Steps to follow in advance of losing power:

  • Keep appliance thermometers in both the refrigerator and the freezer to ensure temperatures remain food safe during a power outage. Safe temperatures are 40°F or lower in the refrigerator, 0°F or lower in the freezer.
  • Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or small containers prior to a storm. These containers are small enough to fit around the food in the refrigerator and freezer to help keep food cold. Remember, water expands when it freezes, so don’t overfill the containers.
  • Freeze refrigerated items, such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately—this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
  • Know where you can get dry ice or block ice.
  • Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than four hours.
  • Group foods together in the freezer—this ‘igloo’ effect helps the food stay cold longer.
  • Keep a few days’ worth of ready-to-eat foods that do not require cooking or cooling.

Steps to follow if the power goes out:

  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full).
  • Place meat and poultry to one side of the freezer or on a tray to prevent cross contamination of thawing juices.
  • Use dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible during an extended power outage. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep a fully-stocked 18-cubic-feet freezer cold for two days.

Food safety after a flood:

  • Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water—this would include raw fruits and vegetables, cartons of milk or eggs.
  • Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those packaged in plastic wrap or cardboard, or those with screw‐caps, snap lids, pull tops and crimped caps. Flood waters can enter into any of these containers and contaminate the food inside. Also, discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home-canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.
  • Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can damage is shown by swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel‐type can opener.

Steps to follow after a weather emergency:

  • Check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.
  • Check each item separately. Throw out any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture or feels warm to the touch.
  • Check frozen food for ice crystals. The food in your freezer that partially or completely thawed may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is 40°F or below.
  • Never taste a food to decide if it’s safe.
  • When in doubt, throw it out.

FSIS’ YouTube video “Food Safety During Power Outages” has instructions for keeping frozen and refrigerated food safe. The publication “A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes” can be downloaded and printed for reference during a power outage. Infographics on FSIS’ Flickr pageoutline steps you can take before, during and after severe weather, power outages and flooding. FSIS provides relevant food safety information during disasters on Twitter @USDAFoodSafety and Facebook.

If you have questions about food safety during severe weather, or any other food safety topics, call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888MPHotline or chat live with a food safety specialist at AskKaren.gov. These services are available in English and Spanish from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Answers to frequently asked question can also be found 24/7 at AskKaren.gov.

Posted in Food, Hurricane

October 9th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Approved counties: Currently nine North Carolina counties are approved for Direct Housing: Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Duplin, Jones, Onslow, Pender and Robeson.

FEMA understands that rental resources and housing are limited in some areas. FEMA is working closely with the State of North Carolina to implement a targeted strategy to provide other forms of temporary housing to best meet the needs of displaced survivors.

FEMA has been participating in the state-led housing task force since Hurricane Florence first made landfall in North Carolina.

The state and FEMA are implementing a multi-pronged approach to temporarily house displaced survivors. Solutions are tailored to the individual needs and situations of survivors based on how quickly their homes can be repaired to a safe, sanitary, secure condition and the availability of housing options in their communities.

Based upon the needs identified by the State of North Carolina, FEMA is providing two forms of Direct Temporary Housing Assistance. The following Transportable Temporary Housing Units are available:

  • Recreation Vehicles (RVs) provide a timely, effective interim solution for most households with a high degree of confidence that repairs can be completed in less than a year, ideally within six months.
  • Manufactured Housing Units (MHUs) provide a longer-term solution for survivors whose repairs will take longer to complete due to higher degree of damage.

FEMA contacts households who potentially qualify for an RV or MHU through the Pre-Placement Interview process to determine whether they need Direct Housing and, if so, what type of housing they require based on the size and needs of the household, including any people with disabilities or other access or functional needs.

FEMA will identify households that may be able to have an RV or MHU placed on their property or in a commercial park.

Direct housing solutions FEMA implements are temporary in nature and are not permanent dwellings.

During a housing mission, federal contractors are managed and monitored by FEMA inspectors. Contractors must adhere to all applicable laws, codes and requirements.

Continuous coordination among FEMA, the state, counties and municipalities regarding the installation of transportable temporary housing units is a vital part of this mission.

The state and FEMA are coordinating with municipalities and counties regarding the requirements of local ordinances, zoning, transportation requirements, occupancy inspections, setbacks and more.

The state and FEMA are also coordinating the temporary housing effort with floodplain managers, environmental regulators, historic preservation officers, utility providers and other authorities identified by the state or municipalities.

The State of North Carolina and FEMA will be implementing additional programs in the coming days and weeks.

Survivors displaced from their homes due to Hurricane Florence must first apply for disaster assistance to be considered for FEMA programs such as Transitional Sheltering Assistance, financial rental assistance, grants for repairs to make their homes safe, sanitary and secure, and other forms of assistance.

Survivors can apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling the disaster assistance helpline at 800-621- 3362 (voice, 711 or VRS) or 800-462-7585 (TTY). In-person American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters are available by request by calling or texting 202-655-8824. (If possible, please allow 24 hours to schedule an interpreter).

Posted in FEMA, Housing, Hurricane, Infrastructure, New Bern

October 9th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Gov. Roy Cooper directed $25 million from the North Carolina Education Lottery Fund on Tuesday to speed repairs to K-12 public schools damaged by Hurricane Florence.

“Students need to get back to learning and educators need to get back to teaching, but many school districts can’t afford the repairs schools need,” Cooper said. “The lives of thousands of students, teachers and families are on hold and they need our help to recover.”

While many schools have reopened since Hurricane Florence struck last month, seven North Carolina school systems remain closed, keeping more than 130 schools out of operation and nearly 90,000 students out of class.

Just four of Craven County’s 23 public schools were open for class on Monday. Three schools in Jones County will have to be entirely rebuilt.

Several affected school districts have depleted most of their contingency funds and need immediate financial assistance to repair roofs, flooring and electrical wiring, eradicate mold and mildew and replace furniture to get schools reopened.

The emergency funds will be administered by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Priority will be given to district and charter schools in Brunswick, Craven, Duplin, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender and Robeson counties that have immediate repair needs and are not currently in operation.

Some of the repairs should be reimbursable by federal disaster recovery funds. Transferring the money now gives schools quicker help and allows them to retain contractors to speed repairs.

Posted in Craven County Schools, Education, FEMA, Hurricane, New Bern, Politics, State news, State politics

October 9th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Craven County Schools will provide two information sessions for parents and community stakeholders to provide details regarding the process and scope of work needed at facilities so students and staff are able to return to the safest environment possible.

Robert Herrick P.E. CIH, external industrial hygienist, will be on site to help answer questions about the procedures being completed at each school site as well as the desired outcomes.

The first session will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at p.m. The second session will be on Friday, Oct. 12, at 9 a.m. Both sessions will be held at The Board of Education located at 3600 Trent Road, New Bern.

Posted in Craven County Schools, Hurricane, New Bern

October 8th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Hurricane Michael could bring significant rain and wind to our area Thursday, according to National Hurricane Center projections.

For an area still recovering from devastation from Hurricane Florence in mid-September, this is obviously bad news.

Michael is predicted to become a major hurricane (with wind speeds in excess of 110 mph) in the Gulf of Mexico by 8 p.m. Tuesday and make landfall near Panama City, Fla., late Wednesday morning.

It is predicted to pick up speed but lose strength, becoming a tropical storm somewhere over Georgia on Thursday morning.

Its eye, or what is left of it, should pass over our area (Craven County) sometime later Thursday, either as a tropical storm or a post tropical storm. Though by that time nowhere near as powerful as Florence, wind and rain are predicted to be significant, and the cone as projected at 11 a.m. Monday centers squarely on New Bern midday Thursday.

Residents with roof damage unrepaired since Florence are particularly vulnerable. Also, soils still soggy from Florence-caused flooding could experience more trees downed by Michael.

There is no word about Mumfest, the street festival and concert scheduled for this weekend. Mumfest was rescheduled a month later in 2016 following Hurricane Matthew. Although Michael will have cleared the area by the weekend, it is impossible to predict what damage it will cause and whether that will affect Mumfest planning.

 

 

Posted in Hurricane, Weather

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