- Published on Thursday, 13 February 2014 22:39
- Written by Super User
As part of the recovery process from the passing winter weather event, New Hanover County has activated a debris removal plan for the unincorporated county. The County’s contract crew will be deployed and debris removal is anticipated to begin as early as next week. Information about debris pickup and scheduling will be made available on the County’s website at www.nhcgov.com once that schedule has been established.
As you begin your debris collection process and respond to other conditions caused by the passing storm, please note the following important information and tips. Also included is an update from Duke Energy.
The Emergency Public Information Center has been established to field calls from residents of New Hanover County. The hotline is available and may be reached at (910) 798-6800. A Spanish translator is available for non-English speaking residents at (910) 798-6808.
- Codington Elementary School, 4321 Carolina Beach Rd., Wilmington, NC 28412
STORM DEBRIS TIPS
- Storm debris can become a breeding ground for rats, mosquitos, harmful insects and other pests.
- Storm debris can block drainage ways and clog up storm water pipes which prevents proper drainage during future rain events.
- Often the debris is washed downstream and affects properties other than where the debris originated.
Storm debris not properly disposed of can harm natural resources, the public health and public and private property.
- When improperly burned, the debris can pose a fire hazard or affect air quality. *Burning should only be done in accordance with proper outdoor burning regulations and in the absence of a burn ban.
- Do not mix household trash in with the debris.
- Exercise extreme caution as you begin debris cleanup and other post-storm duties. Be aware of the potential for chainsaw accidents, falls, and other related injuries.
- For those able to dispose of their own debris before community wide pick up occurs, the New Hanover County Landfill is available as a drop off site.
FIRE SAFETY TIPS
The loss of power and heat for extended periods—often following severe storms and other natural disasters—can create potential safety risks in your home. As families prepare to use generators and alternate heat sources to keep warm, it is essential that they are aware of the risks and hazards to ensure personal safety. Flashlights and battery-powered lighting should be kept in the home and ready to use during a power outage. NEVER use candles as a light source. Generators should never be operated indoors and must be well vented to prevent fumes from entering a home.
Portable generator safety:
- A generator should only be used outside on stable ground and away from any windows and vents to prevent deadly fumes from entering the home through an opening. Keep the generator dry. Operate on a dry surface under an open, canopy- like structure.
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Dry your hands before touching the generator.
- Plug appliances directly into generator or use a heavy-duty outdoor- rated extension cord. Make sure the entire extension cord is free of cuts or tears and the plug has all 3 prongs, especially a grounding pin.
- Do not connect the generator to your home’s wiring. Power can flow out of your home into the electric system creating a hazard for crews working in the area.
- Never fill the generator with fuel while it is running or still hot. Turn it off and let it cool. Fuel spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.
- Always store fuel outside of living areas, away from fuel-burning appliances, in properly labeled, non-glass containers.
- You will not be able to use all appliances at once. You may have to turn off some appliances to avoid overload. And make sure any connected appliances are off before starting the generator.
- Generators should be used for emergency standby power ONLY and for short periods of time. Refrigerators do not need to run 24 hours a day to keep food fresh. Monitor the internal temperature, which should be kept at 40 degrees or below.
- Make sure you have working, properly installed carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. CO is an odorless, colorless gas produced by fuel combustion that can make you ill with flu-like symptoms and in extreme cases can be fatal.
General heating safety:
- If the heat goes out in your home, keep warm by wearing several layers of clothing and a wool hat. Close off rooms you do not need and use only safe alternative sources of heat, like wood and other fuel-burning stoves. Also, eat well-balanced meals and high energy food to allow your body to produce its own heat.
- Keep anything that can burn or that is flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
- Make sure you have working, properly installed smoke detectors throughout your home.
General power outage safety:
- Assume all downed wires are live. Avoid downed wires or any objects that are in contact with them. Call and notify the utility company or 911 of a downed power line immediately.
- Many injuries can occur in the aftermath of a storm as people come in contact with debris and other hazards. Wear sturdy, hard-soled shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves when handling or walking near debris to prevent injuries from hazards such as nails and broken glass.
- Speaking of power outages, our friends from Duke Energy provide us with the following.
A MESSAGE FROM DUKE ENERGY
- As of 11 a.m., about 205,000 Duke Energy customers were without power in the Carolinas.
- About 22,000 (19%) of Duke Energy Progress’ 116,000 customers in New Hanover County were without electricity as of 2:30 p.m. today (Feb. 13, 2014) – a major improvement from yesterday afternoon when about 50,000 (43%) were without power.
- Due to extensive storm damage throughout New Hanover County, some customers will experience a multi-day outage. We thank our customers for their patience as our crews restore electrical service as quickly and safely as possible.
- We have approximately 3,400 field workers across the Carolinas supporting restoration efforts (1,800 line workers – employees and contractors– who normally support work in the Carolinas, 500 workers relocated from our Florida and Midwest operations, and another 1,100 workers such as tree trimmers).
- An additional 400 to 500 workers are arriving in the Carolinas today.
- We continue to move crews to the areas hit hardest by the storm, including New Hanover County.
- Workers have already restored power to many affected customers, but the storm continues to affect additional customers.
- Before power can be restored, crews first assess damage and determine what resources, equipment and supplies are needed to make repairs.
- Power is restored in a sequence enabling power restoration to public health/safety facilities (like hospitals) and to the greatest number of customers as safely and quickly as possible.
- If power is on at some homes in a neighborhood and not others, there are several explanations:
- Not all circuits are restored at the same time and different parts of neighborhoods may be served by different circuits – some may be restored and work is still underway on others.
- A restored customer’s service may come directly from a primary line, which is restored first, while a customer without service may be served from a secondary line.
- There may be a problem with an individual service line or meter.
- Sometimes after power is restored, it may go off again. This can occur as a result of several factors:
- Additional damage has occurred on the same lines, requiring crews to make additional repairs.
- Power may need to be turned off temporarily to safely restore other circuits on the system.
- Once power is restored, extremely heavy demand for electricity overloads a circuit. Please note: if power is out, please turn off as many appliances and electronics as possible to reduce immediate demand when power is restored.
ELECTRICITY SAFETY REMINDERS
- Families who have special medical needs or elderly members should continue to closely monitor individual situations and make plans for potential alternate arrangements if an extended outage is expected. (Customers self-identified as special medical needs customers were contacted to consider activating their personal emergency plans.)
- Ensure flashlights, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable foods, medicines, portable radios/TVs, etc. are available, and consider alternate arrangements for an extended outage.
- Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all lines energized, as well as trees or limbs in contact with lines.
- Please slow down or move over if you see Duke Energy crews or other workers along the side of the road.
- Travel conditions remain poor in some areas and pose additional challenges for crews working in the field.
REPORTING OUTAGES AND DOWNED LINES
Customers should report downed power lines to Duke Energy Progress – 1-800-419-6356.
- If it is a life-threatening situation involving a downed power line, call 911.
- If a power line falls across a car that you're in, stay in the car. If you must get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate, life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.