Update, 12:30 a.m. Friday:
As of 3:30 a.m. Friday, travel restrictions and the voluntary evacuation order are lifted.
It's anticipated the shelters in Beaufort County will close at 9 a.m. Friday.
From Beaufort County officials:
Beaufort County will open two shelters to the public at 3:30pm instead of 4:30pm as previously announced. Beaufort County Schools will close two (2) hours early on Thursday and operate on a three (3) hour delay on Friday.
County officials worry that the increased speed of Hurricane Earl will make travel difficult early Thursday evening. Citizens arriving to stay the night at either Northside High School or Southside High School should make plans to arrive before 5:00pm.
Citizens arriving at shelters should bring necessary personal supplies.
The County anticipates both shelters will close early Friday morning after emergency personnel inspect primary county travel routes.
Citizens staying at either shelter may make arrangements for pets at the Betsy Bailey Nelson Animal Shelter in Washington. Pets should arrive with necessary bedding, food, and medicine.
In a Wednesday night press release Beaufort County and all seven cities and towns in Aurora, Bath, Belhaven, Chocowinity, Pantego, Washington, and Washington Park announced a “Limited State of Emergency”, a voluntary evacuation, and travel restrictions only for emergency circumstances between the hours of 11:00pm Thursday night and 5:30am Friday morning.
Questions related to Hurricane Earl in Beaufort County should be directed to the County Manager’s Office during normal business hours on Thursday at (252)946-0079. After hours questions may be directed to Beaufort County Emergency Management at (252)946-2046.