NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC - An Ice Storm Warning is in effect for New Hanover County and impacts of freezing rain and ice are expected to begin in our area Friday morning. Ice is expected to accumulate on Friday up to a half inch in some areas, and temperatures will not get above freezing for an extended period of time until Sunday, so road conditions are expected to be dangerous through Sunday morning. View the latest National Weather Service briefing for more information.
County Facilities Closed Friday & Saturday
Given this current forecast, New Hanover County offices, vaccination clinics, landfill (including the household hazardous waste facility and recycling center), parks, libraries and attractions (including Cape Fear Museum, Arboretum and Airlie Gardens), will be closed on Friday and Saturday, January 21 through 22, for the safety of staff and the public. The museum and libraries will remain closed Sunday, but county parks, Airlie Gardens, and the Arboretum plan to reopen to the public at noon on Sunday unless conditions prevent it. All county facilities are expected to reopen on Monday for normal operations.
Courthouse Closed Friday
New Hanover and Pender courts and courthouses will also be closed on Friday. For New Hanover court, cases will be continued and any emergency filings can be done at the magistrates office located at the New Hanover County Jail on Blue Clay Road, according to Clerk of Superior Court January Kennedy. All non-emergency filings can be done on Monday.
Residents Should Take Precautions
The county's Emergency Management team is currently monitoring the forecast and potential impacts for our area and cautions that there is the potential for widespread power outages, which can occur when about a quarter inch of ice accumulates on power lines.
"Impacts from ice are possible for our area starting Friday, as rain transitions into freezing rain early morning and then a mix of wintry weather, including sleet, is expected in the afternoon and into Saturday morning," said Emergency Management Director Steven Still. "Up to a half inch of ice accumulation is anticipated in some areas of our county that could cause downed trees and power outages, and winds could gust up to 25 mph which could add additional stress to ice-covered trees and power lines. While this storm may be short lived, the impacts could be significant, so we encourage all residents to take precautions now, prepare for possible power outages, and have you what you need to stay warm. The ice will also create dangerous road conditions, so please plan to stay off the roads until roads are clear and safe to drive on."
Winter storms and cold temperatures can be hazardous, so residents are encouraged to review their emergency plans and be prepared for winter weather. Here are a few tips to help you prepare:
- Have an emergency kit in case it's needed that can last at least a week. It should include flashlights, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable foods, medicines, warm clothes, blankets, and a portable, battery-operated radio, TV or weather radio (make sure you receive weather alerts either on the radio or on your cell phone).
- Keep cell phones, mobile devices and spare batteries charged in case your power goes out.
- Don't park cars under trees, as branches can easily break under the weight of ice.
- Bring pets and animals inside, out of freezing weather, and make sure you have enough pet food and supplies for several days.
- Avoid traveling during and after the storm until roadways have warmed and are clear of ice. Ice will make roads extremely dangerous, and motorists can cause additional strain on emergency responders.
- If going outside, dress warmly in multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing.
- Never use a gas grill or burn charcoal indoors, and do not use unsafe heating devices indoors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If using a generator due to a power outage, be sure to follow all proper safety procedures. Only operate a generator outdoors, and never in a garage or inside a building. View additional tips for preparing for power outages.
- According to Duke Energy, customers who experience power outages should call 800-419-6356. Customers may also report an outage or view current outages online at www.duke-energy.com/outages or text OUT to 57801.
- If you feel your home is unsafe from the impacts of ice or you are concerned about the potential loss of power and special needs you may have, you are encouraged to seek out shelter with a friend or family member.
- Check on your neighbors and anyone who is vulnerable to make sure they are safe.
Stay informed at EmergencyNHC.com and by following New Hanover County on Facebook and Twitter. You can also sign up for the county's emergency text alerts and emergency news.