Chatham County will open two shelters on Thursday evening in preparation for Hurricane Florence (UPDATED)

Pittsboro, NC – As Hurricane Florence approaches, Chatham County urges residents to do everything they can to be ready for at least tropical storm force winds, major flooding, downed trees and powerlines, and prolonged power outages. Cell phone service also could be interrupted.

Chatham County was originally going to open two shelters starting 8 pm on Wednesday night. Due to Hurricane Florence slowing it’s advance, Chatham County opted to open the shelters starting 8 pm on Thursday night:

  • Northwood High School: 310 Northwood High School Rd, Pittsboro, NC 27312
  • Chatham Middle School: 2025 S 2nd Avenue Ext, Siler City, NC 27344

Northwood is the only site that will care for pets (cats and dogs only) using a mobile kennel facility. No pets are accepted at Chatham Middle. Kennel space is available on a first come-first served basis. Be sure to have pets on leash or in a crate when you arrive.

Please remember that coming to the shelter after the storm arrives will be very dangerous, if not impossible. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, have no transportation, or have health issues that make staying at place risky, please come to the shelters Wednesday night or very early Thursday.

Remember to bring to the shelter all medications, personal items and other critical needs.

Here are few key items to get done as soon as possible:

  • Make sure anything outside that could fly around is brought inside or secured.
  • Make sure you have at least a week’s supply of food, water and medications for humans and pets. Freezing large bottles of water now is a great idea.
  • Have at least one battery-powered radio and portable lights on hand.
  • Conserve fuel as a much as possible.
  • Check now on elderly and disabled friends and relatives, including making sure they are in safe locations.

A handy printable checklist can be found here

Other important reminders:

  • Once the storm hits, even emergency vehicles will NOT be able to get around due to high wind and fallen debris.
  • Call 911 only for life-threatening emergencies, not to report damage to your home or vehicles unless these pose a serious hazard.
  • Expect to have roads blocked by debris for days, especially on the rural roads.
  • Chatham County government does not have any authority nor equipment to remove debris. This will be handled by NC Dept. of Transportation and the power utilities.
  • Expect to be out of a power for several days, especially in the rural areas. High priority facilities and more densely populated areas will have power restored first.

To find out more about what to do to prepare go here