Town of Chapel Hill Prepares for Hurricane Dorian

Post Date:09/03/2019 3:44 PM
Hurricane Dorian

The Town of Chapel Hill is encouraging residents to prepare for any impacts Hurricane Dorian could have on our area from Wednesday through Friday.

“The Town isn’t taking anything for granted in advance of Hurricane Dorian; we encourage our residents and visitors to do the same,” said Emergency Management Coordinator Vencelin Harris. “The Town has been preparing for this tropical system since late last week, and will continue to do so until we need to turn our attention to response efforts.”

For the latest forecast, please visit

The Town will have facilities and resources on hand to respond to downed trees, traffic signals that are without power, and flooding. If you are aware of any storm drains or creeks that are blocked with debris, please see Chapel Hill Connect to report these issues early this week. If the reports are received when the storm arrives there may not be time to address it.


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Town of Chapel Hill pre-storm announcements include the following:

  • Information about town-sponsored meetings will be updated at
  • Information about town facilities, including Chapel Hill Transit, will be updated at
  • If you live in a flood-prone area (see below), be vigilant. Pay attention to weather updates, local and social media channels – including the Town of Chapel Hill at– and via email notices (sign up at
  • To report emergency issues, call 911. These issues may be rising waters, fallen trees, or other community safety needs.

Areas of Chapel Hill that Flood during periods of extended and/or extensive heavy rain:

  • S. Estes Drive in the vicinity of Willow Drive
  • Camelot Village Apartments on S. Estes Drive
  • Brookwood Community on S. Estes Drive
  • South Estes public housing neighborhood on Estes Drive Extension near University Place
  • Bolin Creek out of its banks
  • Cleland Road between Kendall Drive and Hayes Road
  • Franklin Street at Mallette Street
  • E. Franklin Street at Park Place

Community safety tips if you experience rising water where you are:

  • Immediately seek higher ground
  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Do not park in low-lying areas.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, leave the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.

Information about Utilities
Public utility information, including power and water, can be obtained from the respective utility outlet. Information is available at


Protecting property during flooding rains

Follow these tips to help keep yourself and your property safe:

  • Get sand bags ready to use if your building is prone to leaks from rising waters during flash flooding. 
  • Businesses with flood barriers for their doors should get them ready to activate.
  • Do not park in low lying areas, along creeks or in parking decks in the floodplain or below ground that are prone to flooding.  Your insurance may limit repair or replacement of flooded vehicles.
  • If you have a stream or ditch in your yard, remove any obstructions, including foot bridges, which may cause water to back up. DO NOT wait to remove obstructions when it’s raining. Perform this clean up only during favorable weather.
  • If you see debris on top of storm drains, remove it only if you can do so safely.
  • Draw down rain barrels and cisterns to provide storage for additional rain.  Remember that for every one inch of rain on a 100’x10’ (1,000 sq. ft.) area of impervious surface there will be 623 gallons of water running off.  Make sure that overflow hoses from rain barrels empty at least five feet away from buildings.  Direct overflow into rain gardens, vegetation, or onto rock splash pads that will help to spread out the flow and prevent erosion. 
  • Keep your children out of streets and away from storm drains.  Just six inches of moving water can knock down an adult.

To sign up for emailed news notices from the Town of Chapel Hill, send an email to or visit

For more safety information, visit, and download the ReadyNC app on your iPhone or Android device.

Follow @ChapelHillGov on Twitter for real-time information during an emergency.

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