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Coastal Communities Work Toward Normalcy

COASTAL NORTH CAROLINA — The coast is in recovery from Hurricane Florence.

Many counties and municipalities are working to get back to normal by ending states of emergency and offering existing services such as regular household waste collection, while other communities are still picking up the pieces.

Brunswick County

The voluntary evacuation for all areas impacted by the Waccamaw Flood Plain has now been lifted, the county announced Tuesday on social media. The county building inspections department opened a satellite office in Leland’s building inspections office, open from 8 a.m. 4:30 p.m. daily.

Brunswick County government offices, including parks and libraries, re-opened Monday.

Waste Industries has resumed collection routes, but some areas may not be safely accessible. The convenience sites at Open, Seaside and Leland have re-opened. Normal schedules and fees have resumed. Tip fees remain in place at the landfill, in accordance with Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements.

The contract to collect debris for unincorporated areas has been enacted. Residents should sort debris and leave it by the road for pick up. Details can be found on the website.

Brunswick County’s commissioners also authorized the collection of debris on state-maintained roads and private roads that are open to the public.

Holden Beach’s Mayor J. Alan Holden Thursday ended the state of emergency for the town. The town has reopened the beach to the public.

In Oak Island, crews were continuing to work to restore sewer service to all areas. The town will pick up yard debris such as branches, limbs, tree cuttings, but will not pick up brown and white goods or construction debris of any kind. These items should be taken to the Brunswick County Landfill.

Bald Head Island remains under a state of emergency. The marinas remained closed until further notice. Power had not been restored to the island and there was no estimated time for restoration. Village officials were providing daily updates and are to notify property owners when they may return. Crews are continuing to pump from lagoons to ocean outfalls and maintain gravity flow of floodwaters to Bald Head Creek.

Craven County

Craven County Solid Waste Management opened Monday two debris management sites in New Bern for emergency debris removal contractor. Locations are Creekside Park, 1821 Old Airport Road, and Weyerhaeuser Craven 30 at 4400 N.C. 43 Bypass North. Officials said to expect a high volume of large commercial truck traffic at these sites and the public is highly encouraged to use the seven Craven County Solid Waste Convenience sites, which now have expanded hours.

New Bern residents can take yard debris from Hurricane Florence to the city yard waste facility at 1803 Country Club Road. Facility hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, until further notice.

New Hanover County

New Hanover County government returned Monday to regular operations, including Public Health, the Senior Resource Center, Social Services and public libraries. The Myrtle Grove Library was to open Wednesday after a fallen tree is removed from the parking lot. The Cape Fear Museum, all county parks, Airlie Gardens and the Arboretum remain closed until further notice.

Onslow and Pender Counties

Jacksonville Transit has resumed normal service on all routes, according to the city website. Patrons should consult the Jacksonville Transit TransLoc app or call 938-RIDE for information. Visit the city’s transit website for updates.

Jacksonville Planning and Permitting Division is waiving until Nov. 1 the cost for permits to repair or rebuild homes due to Hurricane Florence damage. Although the fee will be waived, contractors will still need a permit to do repairs or rebuilds. Call 910-938-5232 for more information.

Topsail Beach remains in a State of Emergency with a curfew of 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. as of Tuesday morning. Power and water services have been restored. Property owners can return to the town with proper identification and proof of ownership. A curfew remains in effect nightly. The town’s ocean shoreline is intact and most homes in town sustained minimal damage.

In Surf City, trash service resumed on the island portion of town Sept. 20. Re-entry was allowed beginning Thursday with a re-entry pass or decal to the island. Anyone without a re-entry pass or decal will be required to have proof of ownership and a valid ID. Surf City pass holders are only allowed to access the island via the Surf City Swing Bridge.

North Topsail Beach has lifted its restrictions that kept the general public from returning, but a 9 p.m.-7 a.m. curfew remains in effect, officials said Monday.

Town Hall remains closed indefinitely and town officials are advising property owners that the town cannot guarantee emergency medical and fire assistance. Efforts were underway to move town hall operations to a temporary location, a rented commercial property at 2021 N.C. 172 in Sneads Ferry, with a goal of opening by Thursday. At that time, the town will be able to process applications for building permits for restoration such as plumbing, electrical and mechanical.

The town has hired a company to clear roads and assist with debris pickup. Residents are asked to place hurricane debris by the road in the right of way, making sure that no materials are blocking the roadway.

Pamlico County

Pamlico County is set to pick up debris in unincorporated areas along public roads. Vegetative and construction and demolition debris must be separated into separate piles. Refrigerators and other white goods must have food removed and be sealed with duct tape. Solid waste and household trash are not allowed in public rights of way. Woody debris must be cut into manageable lengths, no whole trees. To get on the contact list for debris information, contact 252-745-3133.

Trista Talton and Jennifer Allen contributed to this story.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.