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PRESS RELEASE (9-10-18):
TOWN OF BENSON STAFF HURRICANE FLORENCE PREPARATION
For Immediate Release:9-10-1811AM
Town of Benson staff has been monitoring Florence closely and we want to be as vigilant as possible should the rain and winds prove to be a repeat of Hurricane Matthew or worse. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency Friday (9-7-18).
Currently, the storm is tracking toward Bermuda and a large portion of the U.S. East Coast, where southeastern North Carolina is expected to experience tropical storm-force winds and rain by 8PM Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.
We are expecting the worst weather locally beginning late Wednesday into Friday morning. The storm is currently a Category 3 hurricane, however, further strengthening is expected when it reaches the East Coast. Category 3 hurricanes typically produce winds in excess of 110 miles-per-hour.
Johnston County Emergency Services has stated that flooding — not wind — will be the area of concern for this region of North Carolina.
NOTE: Potential flooding areas are expected to be very similar to Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Based on past storms, we know the 301 corridor and other low- lying areas should prepare for potential flooding. However, all Benson business owners and residents should prepare for flooding conditions.
Here is a list of our current preparation efforts:
- Yard debris and pine straw are being collected asap in an effort to reduce the volume of limbs and other yard waste.
- Special attention is being paid across town to ensure storm drains are clear, making for the best possible water dissipation during heavy rains.
- High risk properties will be given flyers this week warning them of potential flooding and what to do in preparation.
- Town employees critical to Benson’s response will be able to field emergency calls both on site at Town Hall and remotely.
- Water, food, toiletries, blankets, ponchos, and other convenience items like diapers will be kept at Town Hall in the event the space needs to be used as shelter.
We will keep you updated on Benson’s ongoing preparations. Be sure to follow the Town of Benson on Facebook, as updates will also be posted there. Keep track of Florence using the National Hurricane Center’s website at www.nhc.noaa.gov and ReadyNC at www.readync.org as well as your local news station of choice.
In addition, if you haven’t signed up for Johnston County Alerts, please do so at www.johnstonnc.com — Johnston County Emergency Services will utilize this system for emergency text, email, and phone call alerts.