Hurricane Florence Update: 12 noon, Wednesday, Sept. 12

Post Date:09/12/2018 12:01 PM


Town crews have been working on pre-storm readiness activities including checking and cleaning as needed stormwater drains, prepping generators and chainsaws, and planning a coordinated emergency response.

Spanish | Burmese | Karen 

The National Weather Service in Raleigh is forecasting impacts to central North Carolina beginning Thursday evening. While the forecast track has shifted, major impacts are still very likely with tropical storm force winds and large amounts of rain.

"Despite the slight change in the storm’s track, Hurricane Florence could still cause significant damage to our community so all of us need to continue to prepare for this as a major weather event,"  said Town of Chapel Hill Emergency Management Coordinator Vencelin Harris. "The ground is already saturated. With additional rain and even moderate winds, we could easily see downed trees and power lines. Your safety continues to be our top priority."

Stay tuned to your local and social media outlets. We'll continue to provide updates as they are available.

For the latest forecast, visit


Call CenterEvacuations | Shelters | Transit | Parking | Personal PreparationsResponse During the Storm


Call Center

The Town of Chapel Hill will open a call center at 12 noon Thursday, Sept. 13. The call center is for non-emergency questions and information sharing.

If this is an emergency and you need immediate attention, call 911. For non-emergency questions about Hurricane Florence, please call 919-969-5005. Interpretation at the Town's Call Center will be provided whenever possible in Spanish, Burmese, and Karen.  Tell the operator your language preference, and an interpreter will be provided.


Voluntary evacuations are being initiated in communities vulnerable to flooding. Those communities include Camelot Village on South Estes Drive and the South Estes/Ridgefield public housing community on South Estes Drive Extension.

These evacuations are being initiated in the event the communities flood and emergency personnel are not able to access them.

The following fliers were distributed to the Camelot Village, Brookwood, South Estes, and Ridgefield communities: English | Spanish | Burmese | Karen.


Orange County officials work with the Orange County Department of Social Services to open Emergency Shelters when the need arises. A shelter will open at Smith Middle School at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12.

Chapel Hill Transit will operate shuttles from Downtown Chapel Hill Franklin Street at Varsity Theater (#3428) and Columbia at Rosemary (#3383) bus stops to the Emergency Shelter at Smith Middle School from 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12.

  • Shelters will have food or water, but will not have easy access to medications or many other personal needs.
  • Bring Picture ID
  • Regularly taken medications
  • Insurance information
  • Bedding
  • Towels
  • Comfortable Clothing
  • Personal radios - with headphones
  • Games , reading material or other things to pass the time - especially for children
  • Specialty items for your needs
  • DO NOT bring weapons, illegal drugs, candles or valuables
  • Smoking IS NOT allowed inside the shelter


  • Service animals for the hearing and visually impaired will be allowed in the shelter
  • All other animals are welcome at the shelter and Animal Services Staff will be on hand to board pets in the best manner possible
  • Owners of large animals and livestock should make preparations for their animals as very limited support will be provided in a disaster

For more information from Orange County, visit


Chapel Hill Transit buses will continue to follow normal routes and published schedules as long as conditions are safe for travel. For the safety of our customers and employees, regular route services will cease operations if sustained winds reach 35 mph and/or if conditions warrant (or as directed by Public Safety staff).

Based on anticipated forecast and discussions with the Emergency Management staff, Chapel Hill Transit will suspend services until further notice beginning Thursday, Sept. 13.

Chapel Hill Transit staff will continue to monitor conditions throughout the event and will provide any updates on services as soon as possible.

Tar Heel Express shuttles scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15, for the UNC vs. UFC football game will not operate due to the cancellation of the game.

Chapel Hill Transit will operate shuttles from Downtown Chapel Hill Franklin Street at Varsity Theater (#3428) and Columbia at Rosemary (#3383) bus stops to the Emergency Shelter at Smith Middle School from 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12.

Chapel Hill Transit makes every effort to safely operate all services during inclement weather. We are committed to announcing any decision to change services promptly to give customers as much lead time as possible to plan accordingly.


With impending severe weather conditions due to Hurricane Florence, the Town of Chapel Hill will cease all parking enforcement at all Town-owned public parking facilities, including on-street parking meters and public lots. This stay on parking enforcement will be in effect from 8 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, through Saturday, Sept. 15. We'll evaluate conditions at that time.

Please do not move your vehicles to the downtown public parking structures before the storm. Public parking facilities may not be accessible as the Town will be using them for emergency vehicles and operations.

If you choose to move your vehicle, the Park & Ride lots on Eubanks Road and at Southern Village are available. Location of these two lots can be found at

The Town is unable to ensure the safety of your vehicles parked in any Town-owned parking facilities during these weather conditions. We understand it may not be possible to move your vehicle once it is parked. Please do so only once you are safely able to, which we know may be a few days.


Personal Preparations

  • Clear and secure your yard debris that could cause damage in high winds (examples: grills, patio furniture, play sets, lawn maintenance equipment)
  • Prepare a disaster preparedness kit. Your kit should be able to support you for up to 72 hours. For more information, visit
  • To report emergency issues, call 911. These issues may be rising waters, fallen trees or other public safety needs.
  • Make sure you have cash. ATMs and banks may not be operational if there is a loss of power.
  • Fuel up your vehicles. Some gas stations are reporting low supplies. Visit for updated supply levels.
  • Find more important links to help you prepare and stay informed during the event at


Response During the Storm
Emergency responders may be delayed when storm conditions are at their worst. This makes it even more important to have a preparedness kit that will support you and your family for up to 72 hours (see personal preparations above).

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