Updated 5:29 p.m.
North Topsail Beach has examined some areas of the island post-storm.
In a press release dated Saturday at 5:30 p.m., NTB Public Information Officer Laura Oxley wrote that emergency personnel and town staff attempted damage assessments Saturday morning. The release wasn’t able to come through until 24 hours after it was dated due to connectivity issues, she added.
At the 200 block of New River Inlet Road, the town found the road impassable from flooding. They turned around but were stopped by debris just past Hampton Colony, Oxley wrote. The excursion was approximately a 2-mile radius from town hall.
“From what was observed from the main throughway, most homes were intact. Some shingles, siding, decks, crossovers and other nonstructural damages were observed. Unfortunately, some mobile homes appeared to have sustained more damage and possible structural damage,” Oxley wrote.
A dozer was used to clear the southern end of the island and were able to get to the line between the town and Surf City, Oxley wrote. In the afternoon, the town visited the northern end of the island and found the homes similar to the those above, albeit with more flooding and unsafe road conditions.
“In addition to water, there is an incredible amount of sand on the roadways hindering travel,” Oxley wrote.
Due to their findings, the town has determined the roads are not safe for general travel and police are keeping nonessential personnel off the island. Essential personnel are listed as emergency services, utility workers, and town personnel.
At this time, the town estimates the earliest residents can return to the island is Wednesday, but that could be extended or shortened based on what the town deems appropriate, according to Oxley.
Communication is an ongoing issue for the town, Oxley wrote, but they are trying to get information out as much as possible.
Updated 4:20 p.m.
Swansboro has announced a curfew for their town, much like Jacksonville's.
Town Manager Scott Chase wrote in a message to The Daily News the curfew will be in effect from 8 p.m. tonight until 7 a.m. tomorrow.
In addition, Chase wrote that all meetings have been cancelled until normal operations resume.
More information will be passed along as the town receives it, including information regarding electricity, Chase wrote.
After days without commercial power in some parts of the county, flooded roads are also a huge concern for officials. Onslow County issued a mandatory evacuation Sept. 11 and assisted in getting residents to shelter inland before Hurricane Florence hit Sept. 12, but officials are unsure of when people will be able to return.
"I cannot give you a specific date and time on when people can return. ... It is still not safe for your own life at this moment,” Emergency Operations Director Norman Bryson said.
He said once a safe route was determined, the county would inform the public when they can return to their homes.
Onslow County opened shelter to those in need of shelter after flood waters or damage drove them out of their homes, and 500 people have sought shelter in these locations, according to Bryson. He said these numbers are expected to increase and food supply as well as generator power is a concern in keeping those in shelters sustained.
County officials are working on getting food and fuel supplies into the county but it's difficult because surrounding counties are also flooded. Onslow County has also been assisting in rescue efforts in Duplin County.
"Overall we are still trying to work to make sure it's safe," Bryson said. The county is working with other municipalities and the Marine Corps, he said.
In Jacksonville, city officials issued another curfew for Sunday night in light of flooding hazards in the city. The curfew will be effective from 9 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday, according to a Jacksonville news release.
“Many Jacksonville streets remain impassable and more areas are flooded within the City,” stated the release.
According to the release, Jacksonville Fire and Emergency Services rescued a woman and her daughter trapped in a car while trying to escape flooding at their home on Estate Drive. Other issues include function of the city’s main wastewater pumping station, which handles about 15 million gallons of wastewater per hour.
The release stated crews would work to clear debris and streets as they were able Sunday.
In town, City Hall will be closed Monday but Jacksonville crews will be on duty to perform emergency services and respond to the storm, stated the release. For additional information in Jacksonville, citizens may call the following numbers for the Citizen Phone Bank:
On base, Marines ordered to evacuate prior to Hurricane Florence were told not to attempt a return to base any earlier than 7 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Camp Lejeune Facebook page. It cited “widespread road closures” across the local area, including U.S. 17, N.C. 24 and N.C. 53 as well as secondary roads making travel potentially hazardous.
Roads closed aboard Camp Lejeune include Charles Street, Holcomb Boulevard, Sneads Ferry Road and N.C. 172, according to its Facebook page. Service members were advised to reference chain of command for updates to these instructions over the next few days.
Schools, too, will be shut down due to challenges of the storm. Onslow County schools announced all schools will be closed to students from Sept. 17-21. After school activities will also be cancelled.
According to the Onslow County Schools Facebook page, OCS staff will not work Monday and Tuesday and essential staff will evaluate school sites in order to make a decision for the rest of the week.
“Hurricane Florence has brought unprecedented devastation to Onslow County,” the post said. Damage varied to many of the schools in Onslow County, read the post. In addition, because several schools have been activated as emergency shelters, they may be housing residents for an extended period of time.
The post stated any further notifications would be broadcasted through the school’s alert system, at www.onslow.k12.nc.us and on social media pages.
At the beach, North Topsail posted an update to Facebook Sunday stating structural damage varied from mild to moderate and NTB is dealing with an “incredible amount” of flooding.
The post stated the beach would be open Wednesday at the earliest, but this is subject to change.
“We have a lot of work to do to make the roads passable and safe,” the post said. “Do not attempt to cross into NTB town limits.”
Even with a reentry pass, the post stated residents would not be allowed in at this time.