Town of Ocean Isle Beach
Irma Information from Brunswick County
Posted on Wednesday September 06, 2017


Currently Irma is a massive storm and some of our protective measures may be different than our usual response.  Today we have heard a few rumors that need to be clarified:


  • Will the entire County will be evacuated?
    • Evacuations will be the same as always with local municipalities making decisions for their municipality and the Chairman of the BOCC making decisions for the unincorporated areas.  This would be for either mandatory or voluntary evacuations.
    • Decision making will be based on flood prone and surge areas, barrier islands, and substandard housing
    • The normal evacuation routes will be used but depending on the intensity of the storm the recommendation may be that shelters be in inland counties based on the Coastal Regional Evacuation and Sheltering (CRES) plan. 
      • This would be with a Category 4 or higher storm simply because our current shelters are NOT rated for that high of a wind load.
      • The “Host Counties” where shelters would be initiated for Brunswick County residents would be in Cumberland, Robeson, and Johnston counties. 
      • Our staff is already coordinating with our Emergency Management partners in our host counties should this plan become a reality.


  • Will the water be shut off to the entire county water system and a mandatory evacuation be initiated with a Category 3 storm?
    • BCPU will not turn off water and declare an evacuation when the storm reaches a Category 3. 


    • Shutting the water off to a community will only be done if the mayor of that community declares a Mandatory Evacuation.  Even in such a case, BCPU will not completely turn off water until such time as it is unsafe for staff to remain at these locations.  It is understood that a Mandatory Evacuation is done well in advance and the water system will be needed up until the storm strike is imminent.  If a lesser intensity strike is anticipated, it may only be necessary to limit the available flow to the beach communities while still maintaining a minimum pressure.  BCPU will stay in contact with municipal leadership to make decisions jointly based on storm conditions as they occur.  Our goal is to maintain water availability throughout the storm, only shutting off water service to vulnerable beach communities well after a mandatory evacuation is declared in order to protect the integrity of the entire system in an effort to maintain both fire protection and potable water supplies.


  • Will the American Red Cross Operate Shelters in Brunswick County during a Category 4 storm?
    • In speaking with the American Red Cross today, they have assured us that should we determine that sheltering is needed in Brunswick County they stand ready to assist.
Our current shelters are NOT rated for the wind load a category 4 hurricane would inflict on them and the best and safest approach may be to shelter in one of our host counties (Cumberland, Robeson, and Johnston)

Town of Ocean Isle Beach
Ocean Isle Beach | Three West Third Street Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469  |  Phone: 910-579-2166  |  Fax: 910-579-8804
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