CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Hurricane Dorian is eyeing the U.S. after hovering over the Bahamas for a day and a half, causing deadly destruction. Response crews are prepared and plans are in place to handle what Dorian could bring to the Carolinas.
Mandatory evacuations are in place in counties along the Carolina coast. A Hurricane Watch was also issued for the areas.
“Please listen to and follow all evacuation orders,” Gov. Roy Cooper said. “We have seen the life and death effects of this storm in the Bahamas, and we urge everyone on the islands at the coast to leave.”
The American Red Cross is loaded down with supplies and has an idea on how teams will handle the powerful storm that is expected to depart the Bahamas and head toward the U.S.
“This is a wake up for all of us to be prepared, this is a monster storm,” said Steve Nason, disaster relief with the Red Cross.
Red Cross has about 2,000 cots with blankets and boxes of comfort kits ready to go. So far, 19 shelters have opened across the state.
The Billy Graham rapid response team, which is based in Charlotte, is deploying to Florida for hurricane recovery.
Their team is partnered with a church in the Bahamas and requested prayers from the community for their partners on the island.
The Charlotte Fire Department is sending 36 members to Kinston, NC, to prepare for impacts expected from Dorian.
Downed trees and road blockages are expected with powerful storms of Dorian’s strength. The USDA Forest Service has moved specialized crews to Charlotte to possible road clearing incidents. Crews have also been dispatched to Georgia and Florida.
In Charlotte and surrounding areas, Duke Energy crews will be on standby. The teams are specially-trained to restore power after storms like Dorian. Duke also has a team of meteorologist who are closely tracking Dorian’s path.
Duke’s Midwestern-territory teams went to Florida Monday. More crews are prepared to help along the Carolina coast.
Major storms also bring flooding, which can impact response time.
“Flooding can sometimes inhibit our travel to locations where we have power outages,” Meghan Miles with Duke Energy said. “So many times we have to wait for the water to recede before we can start restoring power in that area.”
Duke Energy crews plan to be stationed at Charlotte Motor Speedway and ready to roll.
Duke crews from Greenville, SC are traveling to Florence to help with hurricane assistance.
If you lose power, call 1-800-POWERON (1-800-769-3766), or text OUT to 57801.
The speedway, located off Bruton Smith Boulevard in Concord, also opened its campground to Dorian evacuees. The Rock City Campgoround and bathhouse facilities will be free for evacuees.
The first day of opening the grounds, Monday, the speedway already had 20 campsites occupied by evacuees. Those interested are asked to check in at the Camping World Racing Resort Office: 6600 Bruton Smith Boulevard.
Hundreds of AirBnb hosts are offering their homes to displaced residents and Dorian relief workers for free.
According to AirBnb’s website, the homes are available from Aug. 31 to Sept. 16.
For more information, click here.
Ride-sharing service Lyft is offering discounted rides to those traveling to South Carolina shelters. The company is partnering with the United Way and 211s. Use the code DORIANRELIEF for up to two free $15 rides.
Animals escaping the storm also have a place to go. The Humane Society of Charlotte is taking in dogs and cats and say they will accept more animal evacuees if they have the space to house them.
“These dogs are amazing. They have an incredible story, but all these animals are homeless and looking for that forever home, and looking for that perfect home,” said Libby Jones, the vice president of operations at the Humane Society of Charlotte.
Piedmont Animal Shelter in Mooresville is also opening a temporary shelter for animals. The group is taking in animals impacted by Dorian.
The rescue will temporarily move its office and adoption affairs to a new location for two weeks: 110 Robinson Road in Mooresville.
The group says they will need lots of help over the next few weeks. Those interested in volunteering can email the rescue center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Home improvement businesses like Lowe’s and Home Depot are shipping supplies to stores in areas that could be impacted by Dorian.
Lowe’s says it has shipped 1,500 truckloads of generators, flashlights and other supplies to stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
Triple A offered several hurricane preparation tips:
- Locate important documents in advance and secure them in a bank safety deposit box
- Plan your family’s evacuation plan
- Comprise an emergency kit of bottled water, non-perishable food, batteries, flashlights and first-aid supplies
- If you or a loved one depend on electric power for things like medical equipment, plan ahead for where to find it
- Place valuable belongings in a waterproof casing, including documents and photos
- Document personal possessions and home inventory (this can also help if a a home insurance claim is filed)
- Board windows
- Board and blockade doors
- Use waterproof protection seals for doors and windows
- Secure patio furniture
- Disconnect electrical items if you need to evacuate