The following message was just sent from the Village of BHI:
Dear Island Residents,
The following update is one that we know is long overdue and it is great to be able to finally report that starting tomorrow morning, the Island will be open to all homeowners, businesses, contractors, employees, and other guests and includes the re-opening of both Deep Point and BHI Marina's. The Mayor will look to rescind the State of Emergency tomorrow morning effective 6:00 a.m., but recognizing some homes may still be uninhabitable due to the unavailability of sewer and/or power.
AN UPDATED CURRENT SEWER STATUS WILL BE PROVIDED IN A FOLLOW UP TO THIS UPDATE LATER THIS AFTERNOON: Click HERE for the most up-to-the-minute list.
(Note: These are the properties that DO NOT HAVE sewer and/or electricity).
Those having coordinated with insurance adjusters to do site visits to assess damages as well as contractors to get underway with needed repairs can do so starting tomorrow.
DUKE ENERGY POWER & VILLAGE UTILITIES PRIMARY MAIN LIFT STATION STATUS UPDATE:
Re-entry starting tomorrow morning will not go without continued recovery efforts related to floodwater management and on-going pumping, daily submerged sewer pump assessments, power outage work required to bring those still without power back online, and debris management. Having said, there is one critical infrastructure challenge the Village has been working to resolve with the primary main lift station to the waste water treatment plant. This is where a majority of the sewage collected from across the island is forced to and at which point it is then sent to the plant for treatment.
As of yesterday evening, Village Public Works staff working with Club maintenance personnel positioned additional pumps in areas still flooded along the route of the Phase III primary power line feeding the utilities primary main lift station (Bay Tree Trail to Timber Creek mulch site). The objective being to get the floodwater lowered as best we can so that Duke Energy can get in and make the needed temporary repairs to that line as soon as it is safe for their crew.
While flooding and impacts with accessibility along all major and a majority of secondary roads across the island was the primary reason delaying homeowner's re-entry back to the island over the last few weeks, the power situation now effecting the Village's primary main lift station to the waste-water treatment plant has been the most recent problem in determining when to bring folks back on island. To get the island re-opened, Village Council approved an emergency purchase order for a new generator to replace the existing one damaged. An additional generator has been requested from the County and State Emergency Management should the current replacement generator fail. In the meantime, Duke has indicated they are prepared to get over 1st thing tomorrow morning to assess conditions of flooding in determining if they can make a go at the repairs.
This morning we will see progress made through the evening with pumping in the areas referenced above and follow up with Duke on a progress report.
FERRY, BARGE & TRAM SERVICE SCHEDULES:
BHI Transportation will run regular schedules tomorrow for both passenger and contractor ferries with the exception of the last regular ferry tomorrow departing to the Island from Deep Point Marina at 9:00 p.m. and returning at 9:30 p.m. Tram service will also be available in support of ferry services. The barge will be running its regular schedule.
VILLAGE DAMAGE ASSESSMENT TEAM UPATE:
While many assessments have been completed over the last week by Village staff of the island's "year-round/full-time" residences, followed by the various real-estate rental property managers, and Licensed General Contractors in an effort at minimum to let as many homeowners know of what damages they sustained while minimizing the numbers of people coming on island, it is important for the Village to still conduct its required Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) with the Village Damage Assessment Team (DAT).
The DAT, managed & coordinated by Stephen Boyett, Village Building Inspector, will likely get underway with that effort 1st of the week once he has contacted team members responsible for conducting the assessment ensuring they are back on island to handle assessments within their respective grids. The DAT is instrumental in ensuring the proper forms are completed documenting damages sustained in satisfying County, State, and FEMA guidelines.
The PDA process overall is important so that formal assessments of the DAT can be forwarded to Brunswick County Emergency Services as they collect all preliminary damage assessments from around the County in getting that information to the NC Department of Public Safety Emergency Management.
Given the amount of damages sustained to southeastern NC, and Brunswick County, it will undoubtedly qualify for Public Assistance Reimbursement given that Brunswick County is 1 of 28 Counties in Eastern NC having been declared a Federal Major Disaster, the declaration of which signed by the President on September 14th, 2018 (see map below). This declaration triggers financial & physical assistance through the Public Assistance Reimbursement Program for Local municipalities to apply for through FEMA.
Incident Period: September 07, 2018
Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 14, 2018
POST OFFICE & IPC HOURS OF OPERATIONS:
On Oct. 1st, 2018 (at noon), the Village will begin normal operations with emphasis on the delivery of first class mail. The delivery of second class mail and packages will require a transitional period of a few days so please be patient as staff will do their best. Those awaiting on arrival of packages should confirm delivery as some packages were recalled by the original shipper prior to delivery.
UTILITY MONTHLY BILLING UPDATE:
Due to impacts from flooding and the extended period of time in dealing with the response & recovery efforts, the Village was unable to read meters throughout the Island. As a result, the bill that you will be receiving is a bill reflecting base charges only. The next billing cycle, the end of October, will reflect any usage that you may have had since the August bills were generated.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE ON STORM DEBRIS REMOVAL:
With the potential for FEMA reimbursement for debris removal, it is imperative that all vegetative debris picked up from private residences be placed alongside the edge of the road (within the Village's public right-of-way) for pickup at a future date by the Village's debris management contractor -
DO NOT TAKE THE DEBRIS TO THE TIMBER CREEK MULCH SITE.
This would also include debris removed by landscape contractors. If you are having your home managed for debris pickup by a landscape contractor or property management company, in this specific scenario, they also should leave the debris on the edge of the road for pickup. The intent for FEMA reimbursement is that we must document what is picked up and delivered to the temporary debris drop off site for the Village to recoup funds.
Also, it is important to know when placing the vegetative debris alongside the road, make sure it is ONLY vegetative debris and not mixed with any other type of debris (i.e. household goods, construction debris etc.) and that it is not placed in or around existing utilities such as a fire hydrant, bollard post or electrical box that could potentially be damaged during the pickup process.
Please know that it is the Village's goal in working with the debris management contractor & monitor to get all storm debris picked up in a timely manner and your help in getting the debris to the edge of the road as soon as possible is a critical part of this process. Also, please know that we must follow FEMA guidance in terms of process to position ourselves for reimbursement.
As new information on this and what help the Village may need of the community to assist in this endeavor comes forth we will get it out as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience and cooperation as we transition into the next phase of recovery together in getting the island back to normal!