BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY)– Idalia officially reached hurricane status Tuesday morning.
The storm is forecast to strengthen into a major hurricane before making landfall on the west coast of Florida Wednesday morning.
Ahead of the storm making its way into the Cape Fear Wednesday and Thursday, Brunswick County Officials are preparing for any impacts we could see.
“The message that we’re sending to the community, and the residents of Brunswick County, is that it’s time to prepare now.” said David McIntire, Deputy Emergency Management Director in Brunswick County.
Brunswick County Emergency Management is currently going through its checklists to ensure they are ready to respond to any storm-related emergency, are and urging residents to prepare for any scenario.
“The storm will be upon us in the next 24-36 hours. This is the time to ensure that your preparedness kits are complete,” said McIntire.
Heavy rainfall, gusty winds, storm surge, and isolated tornadoes are all possible impacts in the Cape Fear, with flooding being the biggest concern.
“We are concentrating heavily on the fact that we are going to see a large amount of rain,” said McIntire. “That is going to result in flooding, and that is one of our biggest threats here in Brunswick County as it cuts off resources, it cuts people off from being able to get out of their homes, and our ability to get in and rescue them.”
The Town of Oak Island is taking the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of their coastal community ahead of potential impacts.
“Pulling the mobi mats off of the beach areas so they don’t sustain any damage from wind or storm surge, the pier will be closing at 5 pm tomorrow, and anything else is more of a behind the scenes general preparations,” said Mike Emory, the Communications Director for the Town of Oak Island. “Making sure we have identified any resources we might need, making sure we have the stuffiest amount of staffing and other resources that may be needed throughout this event.”
Forecasters say that while the Cape Fear will likely be spared from the worst of Idalia, residents need to stay prepared.
“We urge our residents, and our businesses, to ensure that their emergency plans are complete, and that all of their resources and supplies are in place,” said McIntire.
McIntire says their emphasis on flooding awareness is in coastal zones, but any coastal flooding will also cause issues inland.
So, they’re also concentrating on the county as a whole, and encourage all county residents to be prepared.