Sept. 7, 2017 – 8:16 p.m. — Hurricane Irma remains an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane with 175 mph sustained winds as of this evening’s 8 p.m. advisory (click here to view). The forecast cone has shifted west since this morning, taking Brunswick County out of the cone. However, we should not let our guard down. First, it is important to note that if the forecast track changed once, it could change again, and even a small shift to the east could have a significant impact on the effects we feel in Brunswick County. Additionally, storm impacts can be felt well away from the center of circulation, and it is possible that we will feel Irma’s effects here, even given the latest forecast track. Please continue to monitor the storm closely, and prepare as though it is coming here (click here for information on hurricane preparedness). As Cardinal Richard Cushing said, “Always plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”
Today, our county’s Emergency Services team held our first preparedness call for Hurricane Irma, and this afternoon I met with our staff to discuss our preparations. Our approach is to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Brunswick County Emergency Services is preparing for three possible contingencies: (1) Irma curves left, goes into the Gulf of Mexico and we feel no impacts; (2) Irma makes landfall somewhere along the GA/SC border and we feel some impacts; or, (3) Irma shifts right and we have significant impacts or a direct hit from a major hurricane.
My personal advice to citizens is to prepare as though the storm is coming here, and pray and hope that it does not. Also, please keep our friends in Florida and elsewhere in the storm’s path in your prayers.