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Currituck orders mandatory evacuation for Corolla, Carova

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Vehicles head northbound on N.C. Highway 12 near the Timbuck2 shopping center in Corolla, Tuesday, after Currituck County ordered a mandatory evacuation of the county's Outer Banks.

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From staff reports

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

CURRITUCK — A day after ordering all visitors and guests to evacuate Corolla and Carova ahead of Hurricane Florence’s arrival, Currituck County ordered all year-round residents of the Outer Banks communities to join them.

Currituck issued a mandatory evacuation order for both Corolla and Carova to start at noon Tuesday.

One Corolla couple not evacuating is Ed and Diana Mullins, whose cottage is about a four-block walking distance from the ocean front. They plan to ride out the Florence with their beagle, Gabbie. 

Speaking by phone Tuesday evening, Ed Mullins explained he and his wife decided to stay based on their experience with Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. He said in that storm they received around 32 inches of flooding but their cottage was still safe. Hurricane Florence is expected to bring about 12 inches of rain, he said. 

“We’re safe here,” he said, adding that their cottage also sits on stilts that put it about 18 feet off the ground. 

Mullins said if there was any danger he could think of it was to their vehicles. While his driveway was not flooded during Matthew, Mullins said they are prepared to move their cars to higher ground if Florence makes it necessary. 

This will not be the first time the Mullinses have experienced an emergency event like Hurricane Florence. The two were living in Detroit, Michigan, in 2003 during the widespread blackout that affected several states across the Northeast. They spent four days without power. Mullins said fortunately they had enough non-perishables to get by until power was restored. 

Learning from that incident, Mullins said he and his wife are prepared for Florence. 

“We have about a week’s supply of non-perishable items,” he said. “We have lots of water.”

While no evacuation order has been issued for Currituck’s low-lying areas, residents of those communities are being advised to consider evacuating to higher ground. Florence is expected to bring strong storm surges and cause widespread flooding when it arrives late Thursday or early Friday.

The county noted that Knotts Island residents should also consider evacuating because of potential flooding of the Knotts Island Causeway that would make the community unreachable by emergency services.

Late Wednesday, Currituck officials announced the county has coordinated with the N.C. Department of Public Safety to establish an inland shelter for Currituck County residents who evacuate. The shelter at the Kirkwood Adams Community Center in Roanoke Rapids will begin accepting Currituck residents on Wednesday at 8 a.m., the county said.

According to Currituck, the Adams Center, located at 1100 Hamilton Street, is pet-friendly. Currituck residents’ dogs and cats will be kept in crates in a separate area. Pet owners will have to care for their pets and bring pet food, blankets and other items, the county said.

Currituck will provide evacuation assistance to those unable to afford it. Anyone needing assistance evacuating to the shelter is urged to call Currituck Social Services at 232-3083. 

Currituck issued a mandatory evacuation order for vacationers in Corolla and Carvoa on Monday that took effect at 7 a.m. on Monday.

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