As Hurricane Idalia continues its destructive path, the Topsail Island region — including the communities of Hampstead, Surf City, Topsail Beach, North Topsail Beach, and Sneads Ferry — is preparing for impact. With the first wind impacts expected overnight, both residents and visitors need to be vigilant. This article provides the latest information and actionable steps to ensure everyone’s safety.
Current Local Situation
- Tropical Storm Warning: Pender, Onslow, and New Hanover Counties are under a Tropical Storm Warning.
- Projected Path: The storm is expected to be 80 miles east of Southport, NC, by 2 PM on Thursday.
- Peak Wind Conditions: Winds are expected to range between 30 and 60 miles per hour.
- Rain and Flood Warnings: Both are in effect, with the most dangerous conditions expected Thursday morning.
- Local Rainfall: Predictions call for 3-7″ of precipitation, depending on the storm’s movement and moisture pick-up off the coast of South Carolina.
School & Activity Closures
- New Hanover County Schools: The school system is monitoring the situation and will announce any closures by Wednesday, Aug. 30 at 2 p.m.
- Pender County Schools: All schools will be closed, and remote learning will be in effect on Thursday, Aug. 31.
Shelters are being opened for those impacted by the storm or seeking safety. Additional information for local counties can be found at the links below:
- New Hanover County Shelters
- Onslow County Sheltering & Evacuating
- Pender County Shelter Information
- Red Cross Open Shelters
How to Prepare for the Storm’s Arrival in the Next 12-18 Hours
- Secure Loose Items: Make sure to secure items on porches, awnings, and yards.
- Stock Up: Ensure you have enough food, water, and essential supplies to last at least 72 hours.
- Plan for Pets: Make arrangements for your pets’ safety.
- Stay Informed: Keep an eye on updates from local authorities.
What to Do During the Storm
- Stay Indoors: Avoid going out, especially during the peak hours of the storm.
- Keep Electronics Charged: Make sure your phones and other essential electronics are fully charged.
- Follow Official Instructions: Pay attention to instructions from local governments.
- Monitor High Tide: Be aware of the lunar high tide timings, as they can exacerbate flooding.
Essential Items to Have On Hand
While we hope you already have these items on hand for Hurricane Idalia, it’s always good to be prepared for future storm systems that may impact the area. Here’s a list of essential items to consider:
- Non-perishable Food: Canned goods, dry mixes, and other staples that don’t require refrigeration.
- Water: At least one gallon per person, per day for at least three days.
- First Aid Kit: Basic supplies to treat minor injuries.
- Flashlights: Preferably LED, and don’t forget extra batteries.
- Multi-tool: Useful for a variety of tasks and repairs.
- Portable Phone Charger: Keep your devices charged when the power is out.
- Blankets or Sleeping Bags: To keep warm and comfortable with unexpected sleeping arrangements.
- Prescription Medications: A sufficient supply to last you at least a week.
- Sanitation Supplies: Hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and garbage bags.
- Important Documents: Copies of identification, insurance policies, and medical records stored in a waterproof container.
Impact on Local Businesses
Local businesses are the backbone of our community and tourist economy. Many may be closed or altering their services during the storm. It’s highly recommended to call ahead before making any plans and get out early for essential items that you may need for the next few days.
For the most current and authoritative information, please visit the following:
- WECT Weather
- Pender County Government
- Onslow County Government
- New Hanover County Government
- Town of Surf City
- Town of Topsail Beach
- Town of North Topsail Beach
As we brace for Hurricane Idalia, preparation and awareness are key. Please stay safe and follow all official guidelines and warnings. Our thoughts are with everyone in the Topsail area – as well as those throughout Florida, Georgia and South Carolina dealing with the storm.