OIA Remains Closed During Property Assessments

Post Florence Update – 9/22/18 at 5:30 p.m.

As most of you are aware, we had an uninvited guest roll through our area recently named Florence. We are still picking up the pieces from the mess she left, but we are working diligently to be able to welcome our invited guests back. We just don’t know when that will be exactly. All check-ins remain suspended until further notice and we cannot say with any certainty when those will start again, though progress has been made by our staff and local officials so far this weekend.

Guests who are scheduled to check in over the next week that purchased travel insurance are encouraged to contact Red Sky with any insurance questions.

For all guests scheduled to check in over the next two weeks, we are hopeful that we will have more information available to you early next week once property assessments are completed.

We ask that you continue to watch for updates on our website and Facebook page. Any guests due to check in to a property that would necessitate a move because of damages will be contacted by phone early next week. An email will be sent out to guests due to check in over the next two weeks once assessments are complete with further information.

We ask for your continued patience as we have a small crew in place on the island currently. Our phones remain off at this time so we can concentrate on getting our office up and running and assess all our vacation properties.

We have been so impressed with the progress that has been made in a relatively short period of time to prepare our area to welcome back its residents and visitors. Here are some of the factors at play as of this posting:

  • The Town of Caswell Beach has not lifted its mandatory evacuation order for visitors and has stated they will not do so before Monday, September 24, 2018.
  • The Town of Caswell Beach and the City of Southport remain under a boil water advisory.
  • The Town of Oak Island, while no longer under a boil water advisory, still does not have adequate sewer service to portions of the island. They were not able to restore all service as they had hoped by today, but are continuing to work on repairs this weekend.
  • A nightly curfew remains in effect for Brunswick County until Monday, September 24, 2018, as many roads remain closed.
  • The city of Southport remains under a state of emergency.
  • Groceries and gas can be in short supply, but we are seeing signs that this is starting to improve.
  • Though roads on the island have improved greatly, state officials are still discouraging people from driving to southeastern North Carolina because of flooded and damaged roads. Road conditions will continue to change through the weekend as rivers continue to rise. Visit DriveNC.gov for the latest updates from the NC Department of Transportation.

We know how important your vacation is to you, but we ask for your continued patience and understanding as we work to be able to open our doors to you.

OIA Remains Closed During Property Assessments, Basic Services Continue to Improve

Post Florence Update – 9/21/18 at 7:30 p.m.

As most of you are aware, we had an uninvited guest roll through our area recently named Florence. We are still picking up the pieces from the mess she left, but we are working diligently to be able to welcome our invited guests back. We just don’t know when that will be exactly. All check-ins remain suspended until further notice and we cannot say with any certainty when those will start again.

Guests who are scheduled to check in over the next week that purchased travel insurance are encouraged to contact Red Sky with any insurance questions.

For all guests scheduled to check in over the next two weeks, we are hopeful that we will have more information available to you early next week once property assessments are completed.

We ask that you continue to watch for updates on our website and Facebook page. Any guests due to check in to a property that would necessitate a move because of damages will be contacted by phone early next week. An email will be sent out to guests due to check in over the next two weeks once assessments are complete with further information.

We ask for your continued patience as we have a skeletal crew in place on the island currently. Our phones remain off at this time so we can concentrate on getting our office up and running and assess all our vacation properties.

We have been so impressed with the progress that has been made by linemen to restore power quickly and by the efforts of the local government officials and staff to get basic services up and running again. Here are some of the factors at play as of this posting:

  • The Town of Caswell Beach has not lifted its mandatory evacuation order for visitors and has stated they will not do so before Monday, September 24, 2018.
  • The Town of Caswell Beach and the City of Southport remain under a boil water advisory.
  • The Town of Oak Island, while no longer under a boil water advisory, still does not have adequate sewer service to portions of the island, but an update from the town today says they are hopeful that all sewer service will be restored late Saturday (fingers crossed).
  • A nightly curfew remains in effect for Brunswick County until Monday, September 24, 2018, as many roads remain closed.
  • The city of Southport remains under a state of emergency.
  • Groceries and gas remain in short supply, with provisions being flown into the Cape Fear Regional Jetport and South Brunswick Middle School for the population that is currently in the county.
  • Though roads on the island have improved greatly, state officials are still discouraging people from driving to southeastern North Carolina because of flooded and damaged roads. Road conditions will continue to change through the weekend as rivers continue to rise. According to reports from the News & Observer, closures among the most heavily traveled roads include the following:
    I-95 is blocked off from milepost 56 to milepost 13 and from Dunn to Godwin, closing off most everything between U.2. 421 and Lumberton. Keep in mind that southbound lanes are closed in sections at both Benson and Rocky Mount.
    I-40 is closed between N.C. 41 in Wallace to well over the New Hanover County line.
    U.S. 74 is closed in Columbus County between mileposts 253 and 258.

We know how important your vacation is to you, but we ask for your continued patience and understanding as we work to be able to open our doors to you.

Post Florence Update – 9/20/18

Post Florence Update – 9/20/18 at 7:30 p.m.

As most of you are aware, we had an uninvited guest roll through our area recently named Florence. We are still picking up the pieces from the mess she left, but we are working diligently to be able to welcome our invited guests back. We just don’t know when that will be exactly. All check-ins remain suspended until further notice and we cannot say with any certainty when those will start again.

 

Guests who are scheduled to check in over the next week that purchased travel insurance are encouraged to contact Red Sky with any insurance questions.

 

For all guests scheduled to check in over the next two weeks, we are hopeful that we will have more information available to you early next week once property assessments are completed.

 

We ask that you continue to watch for updates on our website and Facebook page. Any guests due to check in to a property that would necessitate a move because of damages will be contacted by phone early next week. An email will be sent out to guests due to check in over the next two weeks once assessments are complete with further information.

 

We ask for your continued patience as we have a skeletal crew in place on the island currently. Our phones remain off at this time so we can concentrate on getting our office up and running.

 

We have been so impressed with the progress that has been made by linemen to restore power quickly and by the efforts of the local government officials and staff to get basic services up and running again. Here are some of the factors at play as of this posting:

 

  • The Town of Caswell Beach has not lifted its mandatory evacuation order for visitors and has stated they will not do so before Monday, September 24, 2018.
  • The Town of Oak Island, while no longer under a boil water advisory, still does not have adequate sewer service to large portions of the island.
  • Areas outside of Oak Island remain under a boil water advisory as well as a nightly curfew.
  • The city of Southport remains under a state of emergency.
  • Groceries and gas remain in short supply, with provisions being flown into the Cape Fear Regional Jetport and South Brunswick Middle School for the population that is currently in the county.
  • Though roads on the island have improved greatly, state officials are still discouraging people from driving to southeastern North Carolina because of flooded and damaged roads, including large sections of Interstate 40 and 95. Road conditions will continue to change through the weekend as rivers continue to rise. According to reports from the News & Observer:
    • S. 74 is closed from I-95 east into Columbus County and then again in several places after its merger with U.S. 76 through Columbus and Brunswick counties to Wilmington.
    • Several sections of U.S. 17 that had been closed in Brunswick County reopened Wednesday morning, but dozens of other roads in the county, including sections of N.C. 130, N.C. 133, N.C. 211, N.C. 87, N.C. 904 and N.C. 906 remain impassable.

We know how important your vacation to you, but we ask for your continued patience and understanding as we work to be able to open our doors to you again.

OIA Office Remains Closed During Clean Up, Basic Utilities Improving

Post Florence Condition Update – 9/20/18 at 1:20 p.m.

From the Town of Oak Island – “As a reminder, crews are still working to restore sewer to areas of Beach Drive, Dolphin Drive and Pelican Drive, and the side streets connected to those streets – this means sewer is not working in those areas.

System Pressure Advisory Rescinded

Based on the laboratory analysis of water samples collected from the Town of Oak Island water system on the Island portion in Brunswick County on 9-19-18, water users are hereby notified that it is no longer necessary to boil water or use bottled water for human consumption. The system has resumed normal operations. (Island System Only)

This notice is issued and effective 9-20-18.”

From the Town of Caswell Beach – “The Town of Caswell Beach now has operating sewer service throughout the town. Water has been restored to the town but we are STILL UNDER A BOIL WATER ADVISORY. Any updates on this advisory will be released as soon as available.”

OIA Office Remains Closed & Check-ins Suspended Until Further Notice

Post Florence Update – 9/19/18 at 6:00 p.m.

The Oak Island Accommodations office remains closed at this time and all check-ins remain suspended until further notice. Caswell Beach, Oak Island and Southport remain under a boil water advisory as Brunswick County Public Utilities continues to work to restore water to some customers in southeastern Brunswick County. Oak Island is working to restore sewer to the island, but there are a few areas still down (Ocean Dr., Beach Dr., Dolphin Dr., Pelican Dr.). All utilities may be interrupted from time to time as crews continue making repairs.

A statement from Brunswick County government states “The areas south of Long Beach Road, Dutchman Creek and River Mist will be out of water service until those repairs can be made. Customers may continue to experience fluctuations in pressure while water service is restored to these areas. Water is being processed and chlorinated at the 211 plant. Until the plant can fully return to normal operation, the water may appear discolored due to a slightly elevated level of iron. Customers may also notice a stronger chlorine taste and odor. Customers should be aware the area remains under a low pressure advisory. Customers should follow the recommended precautions contained in that advisory until the advisory is lifted, namely, boiling all water used for human consumption (including drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation) for at least one minute or using bottled water. Customers should conserve water by not washing cars, irrigating lawns or landscaping, or similar uses.”

We thank you for your support and your patience as we work to open our office again. We want nothing more than to be able to welcome you back to our area, but it will take some time. Our entire office building was flooded during Florence and at this time we have less than 10 staff members in the area. There is a shortage of food and gas on Oak Island and surrounding areas, which is also delaying efforts to begin assessing homes.

Those staff members who have been able to return from evacuation areas worked today to begin the clean up process in our office. As soon as we have an operational office and our full staff are able to return after rivers have crested and routes are less hazardous, we will begin the assessment process. Once the assessment process is complete we will reach out to guests by email with further updates.

There is no longer a curfew on Oak Island or in Southport, though a curfew is in place for unincorporated Brunswick County from 10 p.m. tonight until dawn tomorrow. Per a statement from Brunswick County government, “crews are working throughout the night to restore utility infrastructure and service but traffic on the roads at night creates unsafe conditions where they are working and delays repair work. Adhering to the curfew lets repair crews work and get infrastructure restored quicker.”

Road conditions throughout eastern NC remain hazardous as rivers crest in our area. Per the Town of Oak Island, “the bridges are open to everyone. There are still some areas with water on the roads, so please watch for those spots.”

Property Owners Allowed Back on Island Though Area Without Basic Services

Post Florence Conditions Update – 9/18/18 at 9:00 a.m.

 

The Oak Island Accommodations office remains closed. As quickly as possible given current road conditions our staff will return to Oak Island, Caswell Beach and Southport and begin assessing our office and all rental properties. Guests who have a reservation in the near future should check our website, the OIA Facebook page and their inbox for communications. We are asking that guests who are scheduled to check in after Monday, September 24, 2018, refrain from calling or emailing at this time so that we may focus our resources on getting our office back up and running and communicating with guests who were scheduled to arrive this week.

 

Caswell Beach Mayor Deborah Ahlers states that residents and property owners with proof of residency will be allowed to return today. The mandatory evacuation for visitors will remain in place until noon Monday, September 24, 2018.

 

Here is a breakdown by area of important essential service information and curfews for any property owners who are considering making their way to their property:

 

  • Caswell Beach
    • NO WATER OR SEWER (700 block to the NC Baptist Assembly)
    • NO POTABLE WATER, “sluggish” sewer (The Arboretum, Caswell Dunes, OceanGreens, Ocean Greens Condos and the Oak Island Beach Villas)
    • Currently there is a boil water advisory for all water used for human consumption (used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, food prep, etc)
    • Some roads remain flooded and are not accessible by low clearance vehicles
    • Curfew from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. until further notice.
  • Oak Island
    • NO POTABLE WATER (boil water vigorously for one minute before drinking, brushing teeth, washing dishes, etc).
    • NO SEWER on parts of island (Ocean Dr., Beach Dr., Dolphin Dr., Pelican Dr.)
    • Utilities may be interrupted from time to time as crews continue making repairs.
    • Fuel, food and supplies in stores on the island may be limited.
    • Curfew from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. until further notice.
  • Southport
    • NO WATER
    • Power was restored to most of the city yesterday, with more being restored this morning.
    • Access to the city remains limited because of road conditions.
    • Curfew has been lifted

No Check-ins This Week – Roads to Area Impassable, Basic Services Off for Days

After days of historic rainfall as a result of Hurricane Florence, the sun has started to peek out along the Carolina coast. It will take some time for Oak Island, Caswell Beach and Southport to welcome visitors again as there is no way currently to access these towns via NC’s highways and county roads.

Brunswick County Emergency Services reported yesterday that “roads are washing out, blocked by trees or downed power lines, or experiencing life-threatening flooding.”

Oak Island Accommodations will not be checking in guests for at least a week, possibly longer. We must wait for the floodwaters to recede (many rivers will crest later this week) so that roads back to Brunswick County are open again. Once our staff is able to return to the island we will assess all properties before opening our office for check-ins.

Road conditions are not the only obstacle to guests returning to our area. Basic services must be restored as well. Brunswick County government is reporting that “damage to several water mains serving the southeastern part of Brunswick County is more extensive than originally thought, and it will likely take several days before repairs can be completed and water service fully restored to the southeastern part of Brunswick County.” Oak Island town officials are saying both bridges to Oak Island will remain closed until basic services like water and sewer are restored.

We are also getting reports that there is very little gas available in Brunswick County and few businesses have re-opened to provide for needs like groceries. Cell service is also spotty at best.

We will post further updates on our Facebook page and website as the clean up process begins.

Our community needs your prayers as we start to rebuild. We have already felt your support through the many messages we have received. We have the best guests and we can’t wait to open our doors again so that we can help you find your place by the sea!

OKI Bridges Remain Closed, Road Conditions Hazardous as Florence Continues to Dump Rain

Hurricane Florence Update – 9/16/18 at 9:20 a.m.

Both bridges to Oak Island remain closed and numerous roads throughout Brunswick County and eastern NC are closed due to the historic amounts of rainfall from Hurricane Florence. The OIA office remains closed and all check-ins will remain suspended until further notice.

This morning’s briefing from the National Weather Service (NWS) gives the following situational overview:

– Life threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding are expected to continue
– Tornado threat continues today
– Major to record river flooding expected at many locations
– Do not drive across flooded areas as the depth of the water may be significant. Your vehicle may stall, or [be] swept off the road. In addition, the road may have washed away, or collapse from the weight of your vehicle.

It is important to note that though Florence made landfall on Friday near Wrightsville Beach, this is a large storm that has been crawling (reports as low as 2 mph; the average person walks faster than this) across southeastern NC dumping huge amounts of rain – and the rain from Florence is not done yet. As of this morning, the NWS projects that our area will see close to 6 more inches of rain today, with isolated higher amounts possible. All told, the NWS predicts storm total accumulations of 30 to 40 inches in southeast North Carolina.

The Town of Oak Island states that their assessment teams were able to go out some yesterday. The assessment teams report “there was some beach erosion, but only minor overwash at a few beach accesses so far. There is quite a bit of flooding on most town roads, including Beach Drive and Oak Island Drive.”

At this time the town states both bridges to Oak Island will remain closed until noon on Monday, September 17, 2018. A curfew will be in place on the island from 6 p.m. tonight until 6 a.m. Monday morning and again every night until further notice.

The Brunswick County sheriff’s department reports that “ROADS ARE NOT SAFE. We have had multiple water rescue calls to vehicles – including SUVs and pickups – submerged on major roads in all areas of the County. If you are safe, stay there. If you are not safe, call 911 or 910-253-5383.”

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is reporting that travel is extremely hazardous across NC, particularly “on all roads south of US 64 and east of I-73/74. Motorists should not drive in these areas.”

NCDOT states that GPS systems are routing users into areas NCDOT is not recommending for travel.

I-40 is closed between Wilmington and I-95.

Once local authorities say it is safe to travel, follow this link for local road closures. Check this link for roadway conditions throughout the state.

Curfew Until 6 a.m. on Sunday on Oak Island

Friday 7:15 a.m. update from the Town of Oak Island: The curfew is now in effect until 6 a.m. Sunday morning (Sept. 16) and could be extended if needed. Please stay home, stay off the roads and stay safe. Please remember that emergency services may not be able to get to you.

Both bridges are now closed and will remain closed until further notice.

After the storm, once it is safe to do so, we’ll send our damage assessment team out and make a decision about opening the bridges.

The National Weather Service briefing for this morning for the Wilmington area, which includes the Brunswick County beaches, made the following key points:

  • Life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic flooding, long term major river flooding and wind damage are occurring or imminent.
  • Impacts will continue over a long period of time given the storm’s slow motion.
  • Major to record river flooding is likely through the upcoming week, especially those basins that receive significant rainfall
  • Do not venture outdoors when the eye moves overhead, you may get caught outside when the strong winds increase again.

Town of Oak Island Issues Curfew Ahead of Hurricane Florence

The Town of Oak Island has issued a curfew from 6 p.m. Thursday night until 6 a.m. Friday morning and again from 6 p.m. Friday night until 6 a.m. Saturday morning. These curfews could be extended if needed.

All guests, tenants and property owners of Oak Island Accommodations should have heeded the mandatory evacuation orders given by the local municipalities earlier in the week. If you have yet to leave, you should note your window to be able to leave the island will close quickly today. The Town of Oak Island will close the bridges when conditions make this action necessary and town officials cannot say when the bridges will reopen. In addition, once winds reach a sustained 45 mph, fire and medical services will not be dispatched in the case of an emergency. Brunswick County is moving its ambulance off the island.

The town states that tropical storm force winds are expected to begin impacting the island Thursday morning before strengthening into hurricane force winds. The area may still be experiencing tropical storm force winds into Saturday or even Sunday.

Water and sewer service has been shut off for the beachfront.

For more updates from the Town of Oak Island visit their website.