Citing the most recent series of forecasts, guidance from Emergency Management officials and a deep local knowledge of storm effects, Mayor Sammy Phillips has declared a State of Emergency for the City of Jacksonville effective 3PM, Monday, September 10, 2018.
The City is taking Hurricane Florence seriously, noting the significant chance of heavy rain and wind, and potential storm surge no matter where the eye of the storm passes.
To help prepare, the City’s Sanitation Division will pick up Thursday and Friday routes Wednesday, September 12. Wednesday is the normal yard waste pickup day and residents are asked to not put out yard waste this week. To help prevent the residential roll out containers from being projectiles in the heavy winds, residents are asked to secure them inside or securely tie them to something solid. If they cannot be secured or put away, residents are asked to fill them with water to weigh them down.
Residents are also urged to follow the advice about having enough food and water for a minimum of a week’s time.
City residents who elect to evacuate the City during the storm should prepare to be away for an extended period of time. The roads may be blocked outside of this area, and should the City be heavily damaged, services could be out from utilities and businesses for some time.
No order for evacuation has been made from the City at this time. Officials will be monitoring weather forecasts and suggestions from Emergency Management.
The Public Safety Department and the Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce are issuing Re-entry Passes for City business owners and operators at the front desk of the Center for Public Safety. These passes are only to be used if the City police are required to close an area because of massive devastation or severe problems. The passes will allow easy identification of persons who have legitimate business in the area.
The Chamber will issue re-entry passes for their members who have legitimate interests in the City.
The action to issue re-entry passes is necessary to ensure that only authorized people are on the premises to ensure the safety of the public and the businesses.
These passes are not for residential re-entry, should that be necessary.
City residents should ensure they have signed up for Jacksonville Connect, our official messaging system that will provide official messages directly from the City. Visit www.jacksonvillenc.gov/connect to sign up or refresh your information.
Jacksonville Transit will continue to operate on a normal schedule as long as possible. Transit cannot operate when the winds are above 45MPH, or if resources are not available or repurposed.
City crews are preparing for emergency operations. Streets Division employees are ensuring storm drains are open given the likely chance of severe flooding. The City’s Information Services department prepares regular backups of the City’s data items, and will take an extraordinary precaution of transporting a backup of the data to an inland City. The regular backups are made to an inland city as a precaution every week.
The City is fueling all vehicles and will have a full load of fuel arriving on Tuesday for servicing City vehicles during the storm. City leaders are preparing to feed, house and take care of the employees who will be working emergency hours. The City Manager has indicated he will make a decision by Tuesday afternoon as to the City employee schedules.