Category: New Bern

September 7th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Craven County Schools will  operate on a 2 hour delay on Monday, Sept. 9 for all students. Breakfast and lunch will be served.

Craven County Schools announced after evaluations of all school buildings that Hurricane Dorian will not deter it from returning back to school.

Most damage to schools was limited to tree limbs and ceiling tiles which are being corrected this weekend.

Staff will report to work at their regular scheduled time so they have ample time to put their classrooms back together. 

Posted in Craven County Schools, Hurricane, New Bern

September 5th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

The City launched a CodeRED alert to citizens in low lying areas encouraging them to evacuate.  Here is the transcript of the CodeRED alert:

This is a CodeRED alert from the City of New Bern. You are located in a flood prone area.  Please consider evacuating ahead of hurricane Dorian.  City of NB fire and police crews will be in your neighborhood making announcements over a loudspeaker encouraging residents to evacuate.  These crews will be accompanied by buses offering transportation to a shelter – either Creekside Elementary School or Ben D. Quinn Elementary.  

If you would like transportation to a shelter, please go to the following locations to board the bus.  The buses will continue circling these routes, approximately every hour, until 5pm.

The first pickup was at noon for the following locations:

  • Oakland and Ashland Ave
  • Oaks andS. Glenburnie
  • N Glenburnie and TuscanLa
  • Mourning dove & Deer Path Cir
  • George St Park
  • Watson Ave and National Ave
  • Maola
  • River Drive & Court St
  • Stanly White Rec Center
  • Duffyfield Headstart
  • Beaufort & Garden St
  • JT Barber School
  • Washington & Hazel Ave
  • Chesapeake & Batts Hill
  • Batts Hill & Turtle Bay
  • Batts Hill & Tram
  • Country Club & Elm Dr
  • Chestnut & Oscar
  • Liberty St & Walt Bellamy
  • Walt Bellamy and Fleet St
  • Broad St and E Front St.
  • Riverside and Sandy Point

The following pickups are at 1 pm:

  • National Guard Armory
  • Pierce Park
  • Neuse Ave and Asheville St
  • Beech St and South Carolina Ave
  • Duffy St and Oaks Rd 
  • Washington and Hazel Ave
  • Coopers Landing Apts
  • N Hills and Laurel St
  • North Hills Ct and Drive
  • Chestnut and Oscar
  • EF Thompkins and Charles

Citizens should bring their own pillows, blankets, medication, hygiene items, special foods, baby formula (if needed) and any other special needs items.  There may be times that the shelters are without the ability to support medical devices and equipment so portable charging devices are recommended.  Pets will be accepted at the Ben D. Quinn Elementary emergency shelter only.  No other emergency shelters will allow pets.  This shelter accepts cats and dogs only.  All pets must be crated & you must bring food and water for them, medications, and rabies certificates.  You must remain at the shelter with their pet and are responsible for caring for and cleaning up after their pet.  Citizens are prohibited from bringing weapons, alcohol, illegal drugs, perishable food items, radios or televisions into an emergency shelter.  Small hand-held devices can be used with headphones.

Posted in Hurricane, New Bern

September 5th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Note: Curfew lifted just before 11 a.m. Friday.

Curfew imposed effective at 11 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5 until 6 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, unless in search of medical assistance, food or other commodity of service necessary to sustain the well-being of himself and his family or some member thereof.  Read the entire curfew here.

Posted in Hurricane, New Bern

September 4th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

As Hurricane Dorian heads up the Carolina coastline, Duke Energy is projecting it could cause more than 700,000 power outages – some possibly lasting several days – based on the storm’s current forecasted track.

The slow-moving, powerful hurricane will bring tropical-storm-force winds and rain over a large portion of the Carolinas. The company projects power outages are likely to occur Thursday and Friday:

  • In North Carolina’s Triangle area (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill).
  • In South Carolina’s Pee Dee region (Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Lee, Marion, Marlboro and Williamsburg).
  • Along the entire coasts of both North Carolina and South Carolina – extending to communities up to 100 miles inland.

Power outage projections are based on the company’s storm modeling tool, which analyzes storm track, storm size, wind speed, wind-field size, ground saturation and the history of previous hurricanes in the Carolinas.

More than 9,000 power restoration workers in Carolinas

Duke Energy crews will begin repairs as soon as conditions safely allow. Duke Energy is moving an extra 4,000 repair workers from 23 states and Canada to the Carolinas in anticipation of the hurricane’s arrival. The crews will complement the 5,000 Duke Energy lineworkers and tree personnel permanently based in the Carolinas – creating a total workforce of almost 9,000.

Before power can be restored, crews first must assess the extent of damage – which can sometimes take 24 hours or more – to determine which crews, equipment and supplies are needed to expedite repairs. Crews will restore power, where possible, while completing damage assessment.

Posted in Hurricane, New Bern, Utilities, Utilities

September 3rd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Based on the latest information from the county emergency operations center, Craven County Schools announces the following schedule changes and closings in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian and potential impacts on Craven County:

  • Craven County Schools will operate on a 2-hour early release for all students on Wednesday, Sept. 4. There will be no after school or evening activities during this same period.
  • Craven County Schools will Be Closed for all students and staff on Thursday, Sept. 5 and Friday, Sept 6.
  • Essential staff be prepared to be on standby for Thursday and Friday if the need arises and you are able to safely report to work.

“We realize many of our families have not fully recovered from Hurricane Florence so we strongly recommend you make the necessary preparations as soon as possible,” the district said in a news release.

Should any further announcements be necessary, notifications will be sent via the school alert system, local media, and the district web page –  www.cravenk12.org–  and social media sites. 

Epiphany School for Global Studies will be closed Wednesday through Friday.

Posted in Craven County Schools, Hurricane, New Bern

September 3rd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Craven County is one of three counties in North Carolina participating in the North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Know Your Zone (KYZ) pilot program. 

North Carolina Know Your Zone (KYZ) is a new tiered evacuation system that highlights areas most at risk to storm surge and flooding impacts from hurricanes, tropical storms, and other hazards. Know Your Zone relies on a color-coded approach for users to determine the evacuation zone where they live, work, or are visiting based upon their street address.

When a storm is approaching, Craven County officials will determine the zones that are most threatened to assess which residents should evacuate according to their level of vulnerability. Areas in Zone A will typically be evacuated first, followed by areas in Zone B, etc. While all zones won’t be evacuated in every event, emergency managers will work with local media and use other outreach tools to notify residents and visitors of impacted zones and evacuation instructions.

Know Your Zone is intended to streamline the evacuation process by supporting personal readiness as residents prepare for hazardous weather events. In addition to helping avoid unnecessary evacuation travel, zones can also ease overcrowding at local storm shelters and increase public safety. Knowing your zone and when to evacuate can ultimately save your family’s life.

Evacuations are only called for when the lives and safety of those in the area being evacuated will be at risk. Once an evacuation has been called, gather your belongings (including your emergency supply kit) and leave as soon as possible for your personal safety. If time allows, secure your home by locking doors and windows. By following evacuation orders, you are protecting both yourself and first responders.

Residents in Craven County can locate their assigned evacuation zone by visiting http://bit.ly/cravenKYZ.

While evacuation zones won’t be fully implemented across eastern NC until hurricane season 2020, Craven County residents will be assigned a zone this year given the County’s participation in the KYZ pilot program.

Craven County Government Emergency Management updates will appear on the Craven County website at www.cravencountync.gov, on the Craven County Facebook page @cravencounty and the Craven County Emergency Management Twitter account @cravencountync.

Posted in Hurricane, New Bern

September 3rd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Workers at Morgan’s Tavern in Downtown New Bern install boards on windows Tuesday. NBPost photo

Craven County issued a voluntary evacuation order to be effective at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, for Zone A or for those living in low-lying areas of Craven County with a history of extreme flooding.  Extreme wind, storm surge, rainfall and river flooding is expected in the Neuse and Trent River basins in Craven County as early as Wednesday evening. 

People living in the following locations that are prone to flooding are encouraged to evacuate: Harlowe (Adam’s Creek and Clubfoot Creek), Fairfield Harbor, portions of the City of New Bern (National Avenue, Woodrow and Duffyfield communities), Sandy Point, and River Bend.  Residents in Craven County can locate their assigned Know Your Zone (KYZ) evacuation zone by visiting http://bit.ly/cravenKYZ.

“No mandatory evacuations have been ordered at this time. Craven County strongly urges all citizens to monitor this storm and even if you are not in the areas specifically mentioned in the voluntary evacuation order, consider your safety, take this hurricane very seriously, and make preparations to leave now,” stated Jack B. Veit, III, Craven County Manager.

Individuals in areas at risk of flooding should prepare for extreme storm surge.  Past flood events have shown areas not directly impacted by flood waters may be isolated and travel may be restricted.

Four Emergency Shelters will open in Craven County on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. for citizens living in low-lying areas prone to flooding who have nowhere else to relocate to:

  • Creekside Elementary   (2790 Landscape Dr, New Bern) *New Location*

  • Ben D. Quinn Elementary (4275 Martin Luther King Blvd, New Bern) *Pet Friendly*

  • Farm Life Elementary (Vanceboro)

Citizens should bring their own pillows, blankets, medication, hygiene items, special foods, baby formula (if needed) and any other special needs items.  There may be times that the shelters are without the ability to support medical devices and equipment so portable charging devices are recommended.  Pets will be accepted at the Ben D. Quinn Elementary emergency shelter only.  No other emergency shelters will allow pets.  This shelter accepts cats and dogs only, no exotic pets.  All pets must be crated.  Pet owners need to bring bowls for food and water, food and medications for their pets, and rabies certificates (not the tags).  Pet owners will be expected to remain at the shelter with their pet and are responsible for caring for and cleaning up after their pet.  Citizens are prohibited from bringing weapons, alcohol, illegal drugs, perishable food items, radios or televisions into an emergency shelter.  Small hand-held devices can be used with headphones.

For more information on emergency shelters call Craven County Emergency Management at 252-636-6608.  Craven County Government Emergency Management updates will appear on the Craven County website at www.cravencountync.gov, on the Craven County Facebook page@cravencounty and the Craven County Emergency Management Twitter account @cravencountync. 

 

Posted in Hurricane, New Bern

September 2nd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

StaffMeeting_Sept2The City of New Bern declared a State of Emergencyeffective at 5 p.m. today.  The proclamation, signed by Mayor Pro Tempore Jeffrey Odham, is an emergency mechanism that must be in place ahead of requests for regional, state, and federal resources.  It also allows the city to take emergency measures to secure and protect residents, such as enacting curfews and limiting the sale of alcohol. No curfews or sales limitations are currently in effect. 

Although the forecast track for hurricane Dorian remains uncertain, the City of New Bern is taking steps now to prepare and is encouraging residents to do the same.  National Hurricane Center meteorologists say although a landfall is uncertain at this time, the storm poses a significant threat to the southeastern United States.  By week’s end, Dorian is forecast to impact eastern North Carolina. 

The City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on N.C. 55 will mobilize at 8 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 5 ahead of the storm.  Management staff met today to discuss possible scenarios and storm impacts as well as current preparations, then began scheduling supplemental and on-call staff for storm duty.  On Tuesday, city staff will begin checking supplies at the warehouse on Kale Road, making sure needs can be met for mitigating power outages, water and sewer emergencies, and debris removal.  The Department of Public Utilities has mutual aid agreements in place should the City require additional help to restore power quickly and efficiently.  Staff will begin topping off fuel in emergency response vehicles and equipment by midweek. 

“We will know more about the track of the storm in the next 24-48 hours, but we are using this valuable time to get staff, equipment and supplies in place and ready to go,” said City Manager Mark Stephens.  “New Bern could see storm surge, flooding, significant rain, power outages and wind damage as a result of this hurricane.”  

The City’s stormwater pumps located at Jack Smith Creek and East Rose Street will begin operating soon in an effort to increase floodwater capacity ahead of hurricane Florence.  During storms, these pumps come on automatically as water levels rise.  

“Our best advice right now is to make sure your disaster kit is stocked and ready,” said Fire-Rescue Chief Robert Boyd.  “Be sure to have food and water supplies for each member of the family to last several days, have first aid supplies and medications handy as well as batteries, flashlights and a weather radio.  And if you live in a flood prone area, consider riding out the storm somewhere away from Dorian’s forecast track, possibly with a friend or family member.”  Tuesday, firefighters will begin going door-to-door in low-lying areas encouraging residents to head inland.  Those areas include, but are not limited to, Woodrow, Duffyfield, North 2nd Avenue, North Hills Drive, Cooper’s Landing, Hazel Avenue and Attmore Drive.      

If you are a city customer and you lose power, report it by using our website portal at www.NewBernNC.gov. From the homepage, click on “How Do I,” then “Report a Problem,” then “Report a Problem” (again), which will direct customers to a page where they can report power outages, water/sewer emergencies, and non-emergency issues.  Or, call us at (252)636-4070.  You do not need to speak to an operator. Leave a detailed message with your address, type of emergency, and contact info and an operator will call you back to ensure restoration. 

Residents are strongly encouraged to subscribe to the City’s emergency alert system, CodeRED.  It’s free and alerts subscribers to emergencies within the community through text messaging, emails, or phone calls.  You can sign up on the city website or download the CodeRED app to your smartphone.  

The City will post additional storm updates and information, as necessary, to its social media platforms.  Follow us on Twitter @CityofNewBern. Find us on Facebook at City of New Bern, NC Government.  Or find us on Instagram at @CityofNewBern.

City of New Bern State of Emergency Proclamation (pdf)

Posted in FEMA, Hurricane, New Bern

August 5th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Botanist Andy Walker of US Forest Service discusses a failed road and culvert that remains impassable this summer in the Croatan National Forest following storm damage from Hurricane Florence last year. Jack Igelman / Carolina Public Press

Nearly one year after Hurricane Florence pummeled North Carolina’s central coast, Croatan National Forest is still recovering from an estimated $17 million in damage to the forest’s infrastructure and costs to respond to the storm.

The storm inflicted widespread damage to the national forest as well as to nearby coastal communities like New Bern.

However, the Croatan’s native and restored longleaf forests were relatively unscathed by the Category 1 hurricane’s 100 mph winds and, in some locations, more than 2 feet of rain.

“What failed were all of the man-made things, but the forest’s ecosystem is in good shape,” said Ron Hudson, Croatan National Forest district ranger.

More

Posted in Hurricane, New Bern

July 23rd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Ever since Jeffrey Odham, then a candidate for Ward 6 alderman, ran on a campaign of running city hall like a business, I was apprehensive.

Once he took office, I started to see exactly what he meant.

He wasn’t talking about a business that puts customer satisfaction first. He was talking about the American concept of business efficiency — low cost, high profit, declining customer service, cut-throat competitiveness, and poor responsiveness to customer needs and wants.

There are numerous examples that bear this out.

There’s the example of City Hall pushing the Firemen’s Museum out of its old location on Middle Street into the old fire station on Broad Street. This was part of a push by the Board of Aldermen to get rid of surplus properties, even if the property is being used for the betterment of the community.

Once the Firemen’s Museum finished moving, the old building sat vacant. Despite some initial interest from buyers, the city was simply unable to sell the building.

Then a group of artists who had been forced out of their previous studio approached the city about renting the old museum property.

That brings us to another example, one of cut-throat competitiveness.

The artists wanted to rent the building for the non-profit rate (usually $1 a month or a year) or if not that, as low as possible, and in turn would provide numerous services and amenities to the community.

City Hall refused the offer, and instead tried to go into the art studio business itself. But it couldn’t find any takers and the old museum property continues to gather dust.

Something similar is happening with New Bern Farmers Market. The city tried to force it from its city-owned location on South Front Street to the old electric generation plant off First Street. City strong-arm tactics to get its way failed but only due to the proximity of municipal elections, which would occur at precisely the same time City Hall would be evicting the Farmers Market. Rather than face the wrath of angry voters, city leaders extended the Farmers Market lease for five years but increased the rent from $1 a month to $500 (the only example of the city charging a non-profit anything other than token rent).

City Hall plays the long game, however. If it can’t get New Bern Farmers Market to move, it plans to start its own, fraudulently going after government grants to help pave the way, with the ultimate goal of putting New Bern Farmers Market out of business so it can sell the property on which it operates.

Let’s not forget the city’s habit of tearing down houses of poor people and then foreclosing on the properties when the owners couldn’t pay the demolition costs.

Let’s also not forget the draconian utility deposits the city imposes on people having a hard enough time as it is keeping up with high utility costs.

Let’s not forget the place where you pay your electric bill. Until complaints came to light, they locked their doors 15 minutes before closing time and even closed their public restrooms.

The pettiness just keeps on coming.

These are not the only examples of City Hall being “run like a business,” they are just some examples.

Except where the law requires public participation, City Hall treats city residents (those without wealth, at least) as annoyances. City officials treat citizens disdainfully and ignore their requests whenever the law allows it.

Paradoxically, city workers continue to provide high levels of customer service despite what their management forces on them. Utility workers, police patrolmen, firefighters, desk clerks, street workers and more, they all get the job done.

My belief is that a city should not be run like a business, but should be run like a cooperative.

Citizens are stakeholders, not customers. The money they pay for their rents and mortgages, along with taxes they pay for goods and services, fund an organization that provides for the safety and well-being of these stakeholders.

They are represented by a board of directors, which in this case is the Board of Aldermen. It is each board member’s responsibility to interpret and represent the needs and wants of their constituency to the city executives that carry out those tasks.

But that’s not how it has been working.

Instead, ambitious city officials have been launching a series of vanity projects that will look good on their resumes and that they can point to with pride when it comes time for asking for raises.

Meanwhile, New Bern becomes less and less affordable, with some of the worst housing affordability rates in the state. That should worry everyone.

If entry-level workers can’t afford to live here, New Bern won’t have the entry-level workforce that is the foundation of New Bern’s commerce and tourism.

It takes a community to be a community, but go ahead, Alderman Odham and the rest who stand behind him, keep running the city like a business, searching for profits, and discouraging “undesirables” from living here.

City Hall may play the long game, but it doesn’t play the sustainable game.

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Commentary, Community, Community issues, Economy and Employment, Mayor, New Bern

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