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Coastal Communities begin preparing for Tropical Storm Isaias

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 9:29 PM EDT
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EASTERN N.C. (WITN) -We’re continuing to track Tropical Storm Isaias and any impacts that we could see here in Eastern Carolina, but coastal communities that are all too familiar with storms, are already making preparations.

Towns like Emerald Isle and Beaufort, which sit right along the coast, have already started holding meetings with their departments and going over equipment to make sure it’s in working order.

Beaufort Mayor Rett Newton said what the town does ahead of a storm continues to evolve taking lessons learned from previous storms.

”The check list is updated after every storm so we had a lot of lessons learned from Hurricane Florence, and more lessons learned from Hurricane Dorian so we’re always updating those checklists and we’re starting to the break that out now,” said Newton.

Town officials are also closely monitoring the storm for any updates and as they do this, they are urging residents to get ready now.

“Think about how if the power goes out that you’re going to be able to deal with that, certainly one of our key lessons learned from Florence was that we had power out for about seven days after hurricane Florence so that’s a big consideration,” said Newton.

These coastal towns aren’t alone in beginning their preparations, the City of New Bern is also getting their different departments ready. That includes their Emergency Operations Center or EOC, and going over how it will operate differently with COVID-19.

New Bern Fire Chief Robert Boyd said they are beginning to get the EOC up and running. “One of the things I’m doing now is talking to emergency management in the state and see how their going to be operating their EOC so we can kind of mirror what they are doing so we’ll have something like what I would called a hybrid.,” said Boyd.

Having a hybrid EOC would mean only essential department members are present at the center in-person while others operate remotely.

Emergency officials also want the community to get prepared now. “Hopefully this storm will be in and out, and there will just be some debris to pick up but you don’t ever know. So you plan for a Florence and hope for a minor storm,” said Boyd.

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