Saturday, 1:15pm, Final Update from Chief Drew
Southport is able to recover quickly from difficult conditions. Today is a beautiful day, compared to yesterday. The City of Southport is blessed with some amazing professionals. This will be the last summary of conditions from Hurricane IAN. Attached is the official damage assessment from our Building Inspector, Kiley Barefoot and Public Services Director, Tom Stanley. It is rated on the intensity of damage, and the city fared very well from this storm. Parks & Recreation Director, Heather Hemphill has visited all the Parks and Recreation Facilities and properties and has reported to me minor or no damage, except for the Atlantic Street Park and CAMA access point. It has been CLOSED, by Parks & Recreation Director Heather Hemphill. The bulkhead has been destroyed, and it is dangerous. The City Pier, City Dock, and Riverwalk have been re-opened. All city streets are open as well. Chief Treadway & Heather still plan to check all our waterfront properties from the waterside on the Fire Boat Monday Morning, to get a closer look. Chief Coring and his officers have been all over the city checking things as well, he sent an email report out earlier.
The Emergency Operations Center has just closed. It was open from Thursday at 5pm until today at 12 noon. We answered approximately 60-75 phone calls during this time. Most calls into the EOC were weather-related questions, electricity concerns, general questions about safety, and reports of trees or electric lines down. EOC Communications have been shared by email to each of you during the storm, with the latest weather updates and other pertinent information. Communications Director Randy Jones and his team have kept the website and social media sites updated regularly with notices from the EOC. Our fire and EMS crews have answered 34 emergency calls during this event. It was reported to me from the NC Ferry Terminal that yesterday there was a wind gust of 78 mph. The wind gusts that we monitored here at headquarters and the wind gauge at the Waterfront were around 54mph. Then the weather station at the foot of Lord & Bay Street was found offline, due to wind damage. So, we received no further readings from it. The tide on Friday around 11:30am was the largest in conjunction with this storm. Roads were closed, and officers were posted to protect any from driving through the area. All fire and EMS vehicles and equipment have already been washed and maintained today to rid it of any salt spray.
The last I heard, there are about 25 customers without power. Brunswick Electric is working diligently to restore these and will likely be done very soon.
This storm was a great reminder of the teamwork that is evident in Southport. No work-related injuries were reported during this event. I would like to thank our Mayor and Board of Alderman for all their support throughout this event. I pray we can make it through the last day of Hurricane Season (November 30) with no other threats. If anyone needs any further information, please contact me by cell at 910-477-2365.
Thank you again for everyone’s help serving Southport and our citizens.
Chief Charles A. Drew
Southport Fire Department
- All streets are passable
- Little damage was reported
- Basin area clean-up has started
- Many business are working to reopen today
- Oliver’s will reopen at noon, they sustained some water damage inside
- Public works is clearing Bay Street corridor between the Basin and Lord street now.
- Approx 30 residents still without power; BEMC is here working to restore
A quick update on electrical service. Chief Drew spoke with Director of Public Services, Tom Stanley and we currently have 300 customers without electricity in the city. There were more, but some have been restored. He said that Brunswick Electric is working diligently to restore everyone. Brown Street should be coming back up soon and will restore a big number. Please remain patient as City and BEMC crews will be working through the night to get services restored.
Please find our final update on Post-Tropical Storm Ian attached. Gusty winds and heavy rain continue over parts of the area, but we expect improving conditions through the evening. Wind gusts of 40-60mph and an additional half inch to inch of rainfall are possible.
Overall, at first glance there is minimal damage through out the city. We have responded this afternoon/evening to about 8-10 trees down resulting in power lines/poles being damaged. Public Services Director Tom Stanley and his crews have been working closely with Brunswick Electric and have done a great job of responding to needs in the city. Chief Coring and the Police Officers have assisted with road closures, damage assessments, and many other law related calls. All roads have been cleared and are now open. There are 3 additional police officers that will be on patrol this evening due to the power outages and will do an additional damage assessment in the morning. Chief Coring will report any finding on tomorrow. The fire & EMS crews have answered 24 emergency calls since the State of Emergency was enacted yesterday at 5pm. The EOC has been manned for over 24 hours now, with a minimal amount of phone calls, most were questions about the storm or power outages, assistance was offered to all our citizens.
I would suggest that the Building Inspector, Kiley Barefoot do a final damage assessment this weekend. I will line up for the Parks and Recreation Director, Heather Hemphill to get with Chief Treadway on Monday to take the fire boat out to inspect the City Dock, Pier, Riverwalk, Kingsley Park, the Waterfront Park Bulkhead, and other City Waterfront properties from the water.
If anyone has seen specific damages in their neighborhoods that we have not noticed, let me know so I can log it into WEB EOC activity report. This will ensure that it is reported to the County and State partners.
I appreciate the support from the Mayor and Board Members during this storm.
Thank you for all the hard work and collaboration in response to Hurricane Ian.
Southport Fire Department
From Chief Drew: The Waterfront has been taking a beating for the last hour or so. A large tree on River Drive has taken out several power poles, and the electricity is down on River Drive and Cape Fear Drive. The structure fire response with Oak Island has been cleared. When the storm is clear, we will begin damage assessments. If you know of damages anywhere, please email [email protected] so we can keep track of damages. Hurricane Ian made landfall in SC at 2:05pm and the forward speed has increased.
Mayor Hatem and Chief Drew participated in the 2pm Conference Call with Brunswick County. Here are the takeaways:
National Weather Service
- Heavy Rain on the North and West side of the storm
- Center of IAN is close to Georgetown, SC
- High Tide is slowly starting to recede
- Wind Gusts have been around 40 – 60 mph in Brunswick County so far
- Several more hours and we should be in the clear.
- The High Tide tonight should not be as bad as it was this morning.
Our Report to the County:
- Yacht Basin Drive flooded and closed
- Bay Street near Lord flooded and closed
- Brunswick Street flooded and closed
- Short Street closed, to stop residents from getting in flood waters on Brunswick Street
- 3 Trees down, Bay Street, 812 Caswell Avenue, and 108 Hankins Drive. All cleared from Roadway by Public Works or Southport Fire.
- State of Emergency will be lifted at 12 noon tomorrow, if all clear is given.
- Ponding on side streets, use caution.
Tornado Watch issued for Eastern North Carolina until 10pm.
Tornado Warning issued for Brunswick County until 1pm.
Brief Summary of Fire Responses:
- Elevator Stuck
- Fire Alarm Call at Deep Point Marina
- 3 Medical Emergencies ( 2 requiring transport)
- Tree Down on Caswell Avenue
- Tree Down on Hankins Drive
- Bay and Lord
- Bay and Caswell
- Yacht Basin Drive between Short Street & the Marina
- Yacht Basin from Frying Pan to Fishy Fishy
Tornado Watch in Effect until 10pm.
ROAD CLOSURE: The Yacht Basin loop roads have been closed due to flooding.
- W. Moore Street
- Yacht Basin Drive
- Caswell Avenue
- W. Bay Street
Please avoid this area.
From National Weather Service Wilmington: Dangerous storm surge is expected across coastal areas of northeast SC, especially around high tide today (~11:15am). Surge inundation of 4-7 ft is expected across NE SC coastline, with 3-5 ft for Brunswick coast & 2-4 ft north of Cape Fear.
The City of Southport is under a State of Emergency. The Mayor signed the proclamation at 5pm, September 29, 2022. The City of Southport has been placed under a HURRICANE WARNING as of 5pm also. I was contacted earlier by the City Manager, who received notification from Brunswick County that the Storm Surge for our immediate area will increase as much as 6 feet. As I have further information, I will pass it along to each of you.
Southport Fire Department
An update from EOC Incident Commander, Fire Chief Charles Drew:
The city staff had a conference call with our county partners at 2pm and had an emergency operation meeting afterwards. Here is a summary of the meeting:
- National Weather Service gave a briefing and stated the 5pm advisory would shed more light on any shifts in the track of the storm. If the storm tracks more Northeast, it will change predictions for our area.
- Currently they are forecasting 55-65 mph wind gusts in Southport with a storm surge up to 4 feet. 4-6 inches of rain and a danger of tornadoes Friday AM.
- The center of the storm is predicted with a 50-mile margin, this could change our forecast
Brunswick County – No State of Emergency, no evacuation orders, no shelters are opening. They will have an internal EOC operation, and a WEB EOC Event has been created.
City of Southport Meeting:
- FEMA Forms were distributed to all departments. Forms will be used documenting hours worked and any equipment used during the event.
- City Offices will be closed Friday for all non-essential employees.
- City Parks have been secured; swings have been removed. City Pier and City Dock will be closed at 5pm today, until the storm clears.
- City Vehicles have all been fueled, all generators have been checked and fueled. All portable equipment has been checked and fueled.
- BEMC will have bucket trucks on standby for the city electric system.
- The Police Department will have extra staffing, their High Clearance Vehicle has been stationed at Fire Headquarters if needed.
- Public Works will have crews on standby if needed.
- A partial EOC will be open and running at Fire Headquarters beginning at 8am Friday, the number is 910-457-7915. The EOC will update WEB EOC for resource needs from the County or State.
- Weaknesses in the city infrastructure were discussed. Identified were 2 lift stations and Bay Street between Lord and Caswell. If a generator is needed for the lift stations, the one at the downtown substation will be relocated to help.
- Fire and EMS Crews will be on standby at Headquarters if needed.
- All Water Rescue Equipment has been serviced, fueled, and checked if needed for swift water rescue needs.
- Contact is being made with Dosher Hospital, Southport Rehabilitation Center, and Terra Bella for any needs or resources.
If anyone has questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 910-477-2365.
Please stay safe!
Southport Fire Department