Curfew imposed as city steps up evacuation efforts

From the city of New Bern’s storm blog:

Thursday, September 13, 7:40am

Fire-Rescue will begin riding through low-lying neighborhoods using aerial announcements to encourage remaining residents to evacuate in advance of rising water.  New Bern Police will go door-to-door in Duffyfield & other low-lying areas encouraging same.  The first rain bands from hurricane Florence will begin this morning.  Power crews from Missouri and Texas arrived Wednesday and are staged with city power crews to respond to outages.

Shelters are open as a last resort.  They are located at:

  • Ben Quinn Elementary School, 4275 MLK Boulevard.  Ben Quinn is pet-friendly, but only for dogs and cats (no exotic pets).
  • Brinson Elementary School, 319 Neuse Forest Avenue, New Bern
  • Havelock High School, 101 Webb Boulevard, Havelock
  • Farm Life Elementary School, 2000 Farm Life Avenue, Vanceboro

*Please bring your own survival supplies such as pillows, blankets, medications, clothing and food.  These shelters are available on a first come, first serve basis until they get full.

A curfew remains in effect for the city of New Bern.  Residents and motorists should remain sequestered in their hurricane survival location from 9pm to 7am everyday until further notice.

Inside the EOC, management staff are reviewing flood base maps.  New Bern could see 9-13 feet storm surge with hurricane Florence despite the southern turn in forecast track.   Watch our morning hurricane briefing here.

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.

Follow the City of New Bern on Twitter @CityofNewBern, Facebook  City of New Bern, NC Government, or on Instagram @cityofnewbern for storm information as well as on our website www.NewBernNC.gov. 

Wednesday, September 12, 1:20 pm
RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED UNDER PROCLAMATION OF STATE OF EMERGENCY

WHEREAS, I, Dana E. Outlaw, Mayor of the City of New Bern, North Carolina, issued a proclamation declaring a State of Emergency at 1:30 p.m. on September 10_, 2018 in anticipation of the imminent threat of Hurricane Florence; and
WHEREAS, it is in the best interest of public safety and protection to set a curfew, regulate alcoholic beverages, regulate the use of firearms and explosives, and restrict access to certain areas.

NOW, THERFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED, by the Mayor of the City of New Bern under the authority of Chapter 22, Article II, Sections 22-28 and 22-29 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of New Bern, as follows:

A) Curfew
1. No person not exempted by this Proclamation shall be or travel upon any public street, alley or roadway or upon public property within the corporate limits of the City of New Bern between the hours 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. of any day 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.
2. The following classes of people are exempt from these curfew restrictions in circumstances indicated:
a) Any police or public safety officer or other government employee engaged in official business;
b) Any member, volunteer, or employee of an organization providing disaster-relief services;
c) Any person in transit from a place where they were temporarily engaged and could not have planned their departure to avoid the curfew;
d) Any medical service provider engaged in delivering medical services; and
e) Members of the news media engaged in duties essential to providing public information.
All of the above must carry property identification.

B) Possession, Transportation, and Transfer of Dangerous Weapons or Substances
1. No person shall possess off one’s own premises, or buy, sell, give away or otherwise transfer or dispose of any explosives, firearms, ammunition or dangerous weapons of any kind,
2. Sell gasoline or any other similar petroleum products or any other inflammable substances except as expressly authorized by the provisions of the curfew imposed.
3. The following classes of people are exempt from these curfew restrictions in circumstances indicated:
a) Police, Fire-Rescue-EMS officers may possess any weapon necessary to carry out their duties when on active duty; and
b) Any person may possess gasoline when the gasoline is in the tank of a car in his possession; or if engaged in the business of selling gasoline.

C) Possession, Consumption, and Transfer of Intoxicating Liquor
1. No person shall sell beer, wine, or other intoxicating beverages of any kind or possess or consume the same off one’s own premises.
2. The restrictions and prohibitions relating to the possession, consumption and transfer of intoxicating liquor established by this proclamation shall be effective during the hours of curfew established by this proclamation.

D) Access to Certain Areas
1. The Chief of Police and his subordinates may restrict or deny access to any area, location, or street where such a restriction is necessary in order to help overcome this emergency or to prevent the emergency from worsening. These restrictions on access shall be indicated by means of barricades, posted notices, or orders to anyone in the area.
2. No person shall obtain access or attempt to obtain access to any area, location, or street to which the Chief of Police and his subordinates have restricted access according to the above directive.  Anyone violating any restriction imposed by this Proclamation or under its authority violates a City Ordinance and is guilty of a Class 2 Misdemeanor in accordance with N.C.G.S. §14-288.20A.

I direct that copies of this Proclamation be disseminated to the mass communications media for publication and broadcast and that a copy of this Proclamation of State of Emergency be posted in City Hall and other public buildings as appropriate.nnBe it further proclaimed that the restrictions set forth above shall apply to the entire city limits of the City of New Bern, North Carolina and shall be effective at 1:00_ p.m. on September 12 , 2018 and shall remain in effect until rescinded in writing.

This the 12th day of September, 2018.

Wednesday, September 12, 12:30 pm

The City’s Emergency Operations Center on Highway 55 has been fully mobilized.  Our first storm briefing began at noon.  City staff spent last night boarding up historic City Hall in preparation for the storm.  Several downtown businesses & residences have also boarded up.  Emergency crews are staged across the City in preparation for the storm.

Mutual aid crews from out-of-state are headed to New Bern. Power companies from Texas and Florida will add to New Bern’s public power teams who will head out to restore power once outages occur.  This will effectively double our workforce to respond to outages.  Public Works and Stormwater crews are cleaning ditches & storm drains & maintaining full power at the City’s stormwater pumps.

Although the forecast track for Florence has shifted some, we encourage residents to continue preparing for this hurricane.  We are expecting extreme rain and flooding, storm surge, and power outages.  Craven County has identified an inland shelter for evacuees at the Sanford Army National Guard Facility at 2214 Nash Street in Sanford, NC.   Pets are not permitted at this shelter.  County buses are transporting residents to the shelter.  Call Craven County for an updated schedule (252)636-6608.

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.

Follow the City of New Bern on Twitter @CityofNewBern, Facebook  City of New Bern, NC Government, or on Instagram @cityofnewbern for storm information as well as on our website www.NewBernNC.gov. 


Tuesday, September 11, 4:15 pm
City Offices Closing, Trash/Recycling, Evacuations

Craven County has announced a mandatory evacuation effective Tuesday, September 11, 2018.  With that said, City of New Bern offices will close at 5 p.m. today (Tuesday) for non-essential personnel and offices will remain closed until conditions permit opening.  Our Emergency Operations Center will be fully activated at 12 p.m. Wednesday, September 12.

Trash, bulk waste and recycling services have been suspended as of 2 p.m. today until conditions permit resuming service.  When collection resumes, the contractor, Waste Industries, will start with that days’ service. Waste Industries is aware there will be an increase of material curbside and requests patience during this time as it may take additional trips to service New Bern’s routes.

Emergency responders are prepared to provide emergency response as needed.  The City is encouraging all residents to self-evacuate due to hurricane Florence and its potential impact of extreme high winds, life-threatening storm surge, rainfall and flooding.  Residents are asked to heed the direction of law enforcement.

Public shelters will be set up for evacuees outside of the County.  Additional information regarding inland shelter availability will be provided as Craven County receives information from the State of North Carolina.  The City will also pass along that info.  However, it might be more comfortable for those who evacuate to stay at a hotel or a family member or friend’s home outside of the hurricane’s predicted path and area of impact. Residents are urged to make arrangements now since hotels fill up quickly.

Residents are encouraged to prepare for the severe weather by having an adequate supply of flashlights, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable foods and medicines. Additionally, take care of your pets.  Secure items outside your home as they could become projectiles in the storm.  Secure your property by boarding up windows and leaving garage doors in the locked position.

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.

Follow the City of New Bern on Twitter @CityofNewBern, Facebook  City of New Bern, NC Government, or on Instagram @cityofnewbern for storm information as well as on our website www.NewBernNC.gov.

Tuesday, September 11, 2:24 pm
Mandatory Evacuation for Craven County

Craven County has issued a mandatory evacuation order effective at 2pm Tuesday, September 11th.  This evacuation order INCLUDES residents of the City of New Bern.  This means there will be NO EMERGENCY SHELTERS opening in New Bern/Craven County.  The State of North Carolina will determine where to open emergency shelters for evacuees and communicate that information to Craven County.

Tuesday, September 11, 12:45 pm

Tonight’s Board of Aldermen meeting has been cancelled.  Our Emergency Operations Center on Highway 55 West will mobilize Wednesday afternoon.

Evacuations are encouraged ahead of hurricane Florence.  We are expecting flooding, winds and storm surge like New Bern has not seen before.  If you live in areas such as downtown, Duffyfield, Woodrow, North Hills, Attmore Drive, Hazel Avenue, and other areas that typically flood during tropical events or summer downpours, you should evacuate ahead of the storm.  Emergency shelters open tomorrow, Wednesday, September 12 at 2pm and they are located at:

  • Ben Quinn Elementary School, 4275 MLK Boulevard.  Ben Quinn is pet-friendly, but only for dogs and cats (no exotic pets).
  • Brinson Elementary School, 319 Neuse Forest Avenue, New Bern
  • Havelock High School, 101 Webb Boulevard, Havelock
  • Farm Life Elementary School, 2000 Farm Life Avenue, Vanceboro

*Please bring your own survival supplies such as pillows, blankets, medications, clothing and food.  These shelters are available on a first come, first serve basis until they get full.

*If a mandatory evacuation is issued, residents and visitors should quickly and efficiently vacate New Bern and heed the direction of law enforcement.

Trash, recycling and bulk waste pickup will end today (Tuesday) at 2pm.  Crews will attempt to pick up all of Tuesday’s route before shutting down.  These Waste Industries employees largely commute from Pamlico, Carteret and other nearby counties that are under mandatory evacuation.  They are currently packing up their families and heading inland.  We will keep you informed when teams are available for trash, recycling, and bulk waste pickup.  Schedules are not likely to resume until after the storm passes through.

Mutual aid crews are headed to New Bern, effectively doubling our workforce for responding to power outages.  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.   We will turn off power to public marinas and docks at noon Wednesday.

Three water rescue teams are staged and ready to respond during the storm.  Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point has also offered a team to help during the hurricane. Additional high clearance vehicles have been requested.   Public Works and Stormwater crews are taking down problem trees and limbs, cleaning ditches, culverts and catch basins ahead of the storm.  Our stormwater pumps at the Jack Smith Creek Stormwater Wetlands on Simmons Street have been running non-stop since Monday in an effort to increase capacity once hurricane floodwaters accumulate.  FEMA is already en route to New Bern to respond to hurricane Florence.

Three Public Works crews and their necessary equipment will be staged alongside our fire-rescue department and emergency responders, ready to clear debris so that emergency crews can get through.  Today, they are staging barricades in areas that typically flood.  Residents and motorists should avoid these areas once floodwaters rise.

More updates to come.

Monday, September 10, 2:50pm
PROCLAMATION OF STATE OF EMERGENCY

WHEREAS, the Board of Aldermen of the City of New Bern, North Carolina, has duly adopted ordinances to determine and proclaim the existence of a State of Emergency and to impose certain prohibitions and restrictions appropriate to meet the emergency; and
WHEREAS, a State of Emergency exists within the City of New Bern, North Carolina, due to Hurricane Florence. Weather conditions associated with said hurricane are such as to constitute an imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury or loss of life or property.

NOW, THERFORE, pursuant to the authority contained in Chapter 166A of the North Carolina General Statutes and Chapter 22 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of New Bern, I, Dana E. Outlaw, Mayor of the City of New Bern, do hereby proclaim and declare that a State of Emergency exists within the City of New Bern.  I further proclaim that Mark A. Stephens, City Manager, or his designee, is authorized to implement the Emergency Operations Plan, and to take such further action as may be necessary to promote and secure the safety and protection of the populace of the City of New Bern, North Carolina.

I further proclaim that the City of New Bern purchasing requirements in preparation and response to Hurricane Florence are hereby waived.  I direct that copies of this Proclamation be disseminated to the mass communications media for publication and broadcast and that a copy of this Proclamation of State of Emergency be posted in City Hall and other public buildings as appropriate.

Be it further proclaimed that the restrictions set forth above shall apply to the entire city limits of the City of New Bern, North Carolina and shall be effective at 1:30 p. m. on September 10, 2018 and shall remain in effect until rescinded in writing.  This the 10th day of September, 2018.

Signed by Dana E. Outlaw, Mayor

Monday, September 10, 12:00pm
CITY PREPARES FOR HURRICANE FLORENCE

Although the forecast track for hurricane Florence 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 the storm could pose a significant threat to our coast by week’s end, but forecast models vary widely as to where the hurricane will make landfall.

“We are using this valuable time to get staff, equipment and storm supplies in place and ready to go,” said City Manager Mark Stephens.  City management staff met this morning to discuss possible scenarios and storm impacts from hurricane Florence as well as current preparations.

The City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on Highway 55 is currently set up and will mobilize Wednesday afternoon ahead of the storm.  Management staff are scheduling supplemental and on-call staff for week’s end and throughout the weekend.  Staff are checking supplies at the city 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 over the next couple of days.

“We are expecting significant and damaging effects from this hurricane,” said Mr. Stephens.  “Even if hurricane Florence makes landfall somewhere else, New Bern could see record or near-record storm surge, flooding, and destructive winds and rain. We anticipate significant loss of property.”  Although no evacuation order is currently in place, residents who typically experience flooding during tropical events or brief summer downpours should consider riding out the storm further inland.  These flood prone areas include, but are not limited to, Duffyfield, Woodrow, North 2nd Avenue, North Hills Drive, Cooper’s Landing, parts of Oaks Road, Hazel Avenue and Attmore Drive.

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.  Stormwater staff are also making rounds cleaning debris from storm drains, catch basins, and ditches.

“We are encouraging residents to prepare now in the event of this storm,” said City of New Bern Fire-Rescue Chief Bobby Boyd. “Make sure disaster kits are stocked and ready, 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.”  Additionally, take time now to secure outdoor items that could become projectiles during the storm.

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 on Instagram @cityofnewbern.

September 13th, 2018 by
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