The City of New Bern declared a State of Emergency on Monday evening, allowing the city to quickly and more effectively prepare for the potential impacts of Hurricane Dorian.
City officials said the State of Emergency is effective as of 5:00 p.m. Monday, Sept. 2, and is an emergency mechanism that must be in place ahead of requests for regional, state, and federal resources.
A State of Emergency declaration also allows the city to enact curfews, limit the sale of alcohol, and take other steps to protect residents. As of this post, no curfews or sales limitations are currently in effect in New Bern.
New Bern officials also said, starting at 8:00 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, it will mobilize its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on Highway 55.
On Tuesday, city staff will begin checking supplies at the warehouse on Kale Road, making sure needs can be met for mitigating power outages, water and sewer emergencies, and debris removal. The Department of Public Utilities has mutual aid agreements in place if help is needed to restore power quickly and efficiently.
Additionally, officials said New Bern’s stormwater pumps, located at Jack Smith Creek and East Rose Street, will begin operating soon to increase floodwater capacity ahead of hurricane Florence, to prevent or reduce the risk of flooding in the city. During storms, these pumps come on automatically as water levels rise.
Although there is no mandatory evacuation order for New Bern, the New Bern Fire-Rescue Department said anyone who lives in a flood-prone area of New Bern should evacuate and stay with family or friends further inland. Tuesday, firefighters will begin going door-to-door in the following low-lying areas to encourage residents to head inland: Woodrow, Duffyfield, North 2nd Avenue, North Hills Drive, Cooper’s Landing, Hazel Avenue, and Attmore Drive.
If you are a city customer and you lose power, report it by using our website portal at www.NewBernNC.gov. From the homepage, click on “How Do I,” then “Report a Problem,” then “Report a Problem” (again), which will direct customers to a page where they can report power outages, water/sewer emergencies, and non-emergency issues. Or, call us at (252)636-4070. You do not need to speak to an operator. Leave a detailed message with your address, type of emergency, and contact info and an operator will call you back to ensure restoration.
Residents are strongly encouraged to subscribe to the City’s emergency alert system, CodeRED. It’s free and alerts subscribers to emergencies within the community through text messaging, emails, or phone calls. You can sign up on the city website or download the CodeRED app to your smartphone.