According to the latest forecasts, Hurricane Irene could strike coastal city of Wilmington in New Hanover County of North Carolina on Saturday night and likely pound Rockingham County.
Warren Lee, New Hanover County’s emergency management director, had already sent a reminder to the agencies that take action in case a storm strikes to review their plans for “continuity of operations. These plans are made for worst-case scenarios that list out how agencies will continue to work in the event their own offices are damaged by a storm.
In Wilmington and other parts of New Hanover County, emergency officials are examining pre-landfall operations to make certain necessary equipments like generators, forklifts, computers and trucks are operational. They are also making sure that there is enough supply of food and water for staffers working at the emergency operations center as well as for the people who require them in case of emergency evacuation.
Warren Lee said that the New Hanover County will set up a control group based on the landfall forecasts on Wednesday or Thursday.
The Peasant’s Feast concert that was planned for 7 p.m. on Saturday at Projekte, Wilmington has been already canceled. New date for the event has not yet been announced by the organizers.
With Hurricane Irene threatening to strike almost the entire East Coast, officials in North Carolina are gearing up to face the situation if storm hits the area.
As per Steve Keighton, a meteorologist at National Weather Service in Blacksburg, VA, the tropical storm is predicted to turn into a major hurricane. He said that there is always an element of uncertainty associated with predicting where a hurricane could actually make landfall and therefore, a cone is used by the National Weather Service to show the course of a storm.
According to him, the thing with hurricane predictions is that the path is generally more toward the right, which means if Hurricane Irene follows this trend, then she would be heading for the Outer Banks.
Although, he can’t be absolutely sure at this point of time about where the storm will make landfall, but as per current projections, Rockingham County can expect to get heavy rains and gusty winds. This could knock down the trees as well as disrupt power.
Residents in Wilmington and other areas of North Carolina are advised to start assembling a 72-hour hurricane emergency kit. This kit should include one gallon of water per day for each person, non perishable food for three to seven days, flashlights, batteries, rain gear, medicines, first-aid kit, a weather radio and cash. Monitoring the trajectory of Hurricane Irene for the next couple of days is also suggested.