Utilities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia prepare for Hurricane Dorian

The National Hurricane Center and Central Pacific Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in a Hurricane Dorian public advisory as of 5 p.m., EDT, on Sept. 5, said that a hurricane warning is in effect for Edisto Beach, S.C., to the North Carolina/Virginia border, as well as for Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds

Utilities in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia continue to prepare in light of Hurricane Dorian, which, according to a Sept. 5 New York Times article, is a Category 2 storm.

The New York Times reported that “[t]he death toll in the Bahamas has risen to 23” following Dorian.

The National Hurricane Center and Central Pacific Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in a Hurricane Dorian public advisory posted as of 5 p.m., EDT, on Sept. 5, said that a hurricane warning is in effect for Edisto Beach, S.C., to the North Carolina/Virginia border, as well as for Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Savannah River to south of Edisto Beach; the North Carolina/Virginia border to Fenwick Island, Del.; the Chesapeake Bay from Drum Point southward; Tidal Potomac south of Cobb Island; Woods Hole to Sagamore Beach, Mass.; as well as Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., according to the public advisory.

A storm surge warning is in effect for the Little River Inlet to Poquoson, Va.; Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds; Neuse and Pamlico Rivers; and Hampton Roads, the public advisory noted.

The public advisory said that at 5 p.m., EDT, the eye of Hurricane Dorian was “passing south and southeast of Myrtle Beach” in South Carolina, located near latitude 33.1 North, longitude 78.5 West. Dorian is moving toward the northeast near 10 mph, with that general motion expected to continue with an increase in forward speed through Sept. 7, the public advisory said.

The center of Dorian will continue to move close to the coast of eastern South Carolina for the next several hours and then move near or over the coast of North Carolina on Sept. 5 and Sept. 6, the public advisory said. The center should move to the southeast of extreme southeastern New England the night of Sept. 6 and the morning of Sept. 7, and approach Nova Scotia later on Sept. 7 or that night, the public advisory noted.

While slow weakening is expected during the next few days, Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane as the center moves near the coasts of South and North Carolina, the public advisory said, adding that Dorian is forecast to become a hurricane-force post-tropical cyclone by the night of Sept. 7 as it approaches Nova Scotia.

Discussing rainfall, the public advisory said that Dorian is expected to produce six to 12 inches, isolated 15 inches, in the coastal Carolinas; three to eight inches in far southeast Virginia; and two to four inches in extreme southeastern New England. The public advisory also said that tornadoes are possible through early Sept. 6 across eastern North Carolina into southeast Virginia.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, according to a Sept. 5 statement, urged residents to shelter in place and stay off roads until the storm passes.

At least 50 counties declared states of emergency, the statement noted, adding that 68 emergency shelters have opened so far, housing more than 2,200 evacuees.

NC 2-1-1 is available to help residents find food, housing, disaster services and health care, the statement noted, adding that help is also available by texting NCDorian to 898211 to talk via text with a 2-1-1 operator.

The latest storm information may be found on the state’s Hurricane Dorian website, as well as on Twitter and Facebook, the statement said, noting that DriveNC.gov provides traffic conditions statewide. The statement said that individuals who wish to donate time or financial assistance, may visit NC.Gov/donate.

Duke Energy on Sept. 4 said that it projects that Hurricane Dorian could cause more than 700,000 power outages in eastern areas of North Carolina and South Carolina. The company said that it is moving an extra 4,000 repair workers from 23 states and Canada to the Carolinas in anticipation of the hurricane’s arrival. The crews will complement the 5,000 Duke Energy lineworkers and tree personnel permanently based in the Carolinas, the company said.

Duke Energy said that tips on what to do before, during, and after a storm can be found here.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, according to a Sept. 5 statement, lifted the evacuation orders for all residents in Beaufort, Jasper, and Colleton counties, effective at 3 p.m., on Sept. 5.

At the request of local officials, evacuation orders for Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley, Georgetown, and Horry counties remain in effect as Hurricane Dorian continues to pose a threat to those areas, the statement noted.

Santee Cooper on Sept. 4 said that the Pinopolis Lock at its Jefferies Hydroelectric Station on Lake Moultrie would close at noon that day, in advance of winds arriving from Hurricane Dorian, with the lock remaining closed until further notice.

Santee Cooper said that its customer service office in Myrtle Beach, would be closed on Sept. 5 due to expected inclement weather from Dorian.

Santee Cooper said that its employees, along with dozens of crews from other public power utilities, will be out restoring outages as soon as they can safely work after the storm passes. The company noted that that puts more than 800 people on power restoration efforts across its system. The company said that customers can report outages at 1-888-769-7688 or www.santeecooper.com/stormcenter.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, according to a Sept. 5 statement, has advised residents to finalize their preparations and take shelter as Hurricane Dorian impacts Virginia overnight on Sept. 5 and throughout Sept. 6.

Northam declared a state of emergency on Sept. 2 in order to mobilize personnel and resources for storm impacts, and to speed the response to those communities that sustain damage from the storm, the statement noted.

Residents should visit VAemergency.gov/hurricanes for information about how to complete preparations for the storm, the statement said, adding that residents should follow Virginia Department of Transportation accounts on Twitter, @VaDOT, @VaDOTHR and @VaDOTFRED, or on Facebook for information about facility closures; for real-time road conditions, individuals may call 5-1-1 or go to 511virginia.org.

Dominion Energy on Sept. 5 said that customers in northeast North Carolina and Virginia could experience outages that last for multiple days because of Hurricane Dorian.

The company said that in advance of the storm, it has relocated crews and has staged materials to be ready to assess damage and restore power as soon as weather conditions are safe. Crews and support staff have been relocated from Dominion’s Northwest Region to areas where the company expects the greatest impact from the storm, the company said, adding that in North Carolina and Virginia, more than 7,000 Dominion Energy employees and contract crew members are ready to support the restoration effort.

The company said that the quickest and most efficient way to notify Dominion Energy of a power outage is to report it online using a mobile device; the outage reporting website is https://www.dominionenergy.com/outage-center/report-and-check-outages; customers may also call 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to report an outage.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, according to a Sept. 5 statement, earlier that day lifted a mandatory evacuation order for people east of Interstate 95 in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty, and McIntosh Counties.

So far, the statement noted, Bryan, Camden, Glynn, and Liberty counties have authorized re-entry for residents and visitors. The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has begun inspection of roads and bridges in affected counties, the statement noted.

Georgia Power on Sept. 5 said that nearly 1,500 Georgia Power personnel are responding to more than 250 individual cases of damage, including broken poles and downed lines, resulting in about 15,000 customers without power as of 8 a.m. EDT. Most of the outages are concentrated in Chatham, Glynn and McIntosh counties, the company said, adding that as strong winds continue during the day, additional scattered outages may occur.

Damage assessment teams have re-entered evacuated and affected areas and are relaying critical field information so that restoration teams can be dispatched, the company said.

Georgia Power said that, customers can visit www.georgiapower.com/storm to sign up for outage alerts, report and check the status of outages, as well as access useful safety tips and information. Customers can report and check the status of an outage 24 hours a day by contacting Georgia Power at 888-891-0938, the company said.

Individuals may also download the Georgia Power mobile app for Apple and Android devices to access storm and outage information on the go; follow GeorgiaPower on Twitter; as well as visit the Georgia Power storm page, the company said.

Florida Power & Light on Sept. 5 said that it has restored service to all customers impacted by Hurricane Dorian, or more than 160,000 customers, some more than once using smart grid technology. Most outages were caused primarily by downed trees, vegetation and debris blowing into power lines, the company said, adding that it is now working with other utilities to the north to help reallocate resources to help respond to Dorian as it impacts Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia.

In a Sept. 4 statement posted on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ website, Florida’s Division of Emergency Management (DEM) Director Jared Moskowitz said, in part, “While Florida was fortunate that Hurricane Dorian stayed off our coast, we are still in peak hurricane season and we must remain focused to make sure the state is prepared to respond to any storm.”