Watching Florence – Updates from Carolina Designs Vacation Rentals

 

Hurricane Florence
Image From The National Hurricane Center.

Sept 16 – 3:00pm

The Carolina Designs team is ready to welcome guests back to the Outer Banks! Our area’s bridges, grocery stores, shops, and restaurants are open.

We are grateful to all our guests for their patience while we prepared homes for check-in after the mandatory evacuation was lifted. Thankfully, the northern Outer Banks did not experience a direct hit from Florence, and our hearts are with those that have been greatly impacted by the storm.

Officials have issued travel advisories for the southeastern portion of the state, however, Dare County north of Oregon Inlet has no travel restrictions in place. Please keep in mind that ocean conditions are still unsafe and ocean swimming is currently prohibited. For the most up to date local information, please visit the Dare County Emergency Management website.


Sept 15 – 11:30am

Reentry into the county began this morning at 7AM for residents, property owners, and non-resident employees of local businesses. Visitors will be allowed entry into Dare and Currituck Counties (towns north of Oregon Inlet) beginning at 7AM on Sunday, September 16th.

Please be aware that you can expect to see more traffic than you usually would at this point in the season.

For guests that were scheduled to check in Friday or Saturday, our crews are in the field assessing every home and we anticipate your home will be ready for you once the county allows access for visitors. You will be receiving an email and call by the end of day Saturday to confirm that your home is ready.

For Sunday Check-Ins, standard check-in procedures apply. Please refer to the check-in email that we sent you 10 days prior to your arrival which outlines check-in procedures. Check-ins before 4PM will be unlikely.

We appreciate your understanding as we work to prepare the homes for your arrival. We plan to do the best job that we can with the resources available to us to ensure that you have a great vacation to the Outer Banks.

You will see signs of Hurricane Florence when you arrive, including sand accumulation in pools, possible exterior damage (shingles/siding down), and beach erosion. Please note that some services, such as pool maintenance, may be delayed.

Our office is open as of 9AM Saturday, and we are experiencing a high call volume. Thank you so much for your patience. We are here and getting ready to welcome visitors on Sunday.

We are incredibly grateful that Hurricane Florence was not as catastrophic as anticipated for our area, and our hearts are with our neighbors to the south. We look forward to welcoming you to the beach on Sunday.


Sept 14 – 11:00am

The Dare County Emergency Management team met this morning after assessing damage in the area.

It is anticipated that visitors will be allowed entry to Dare County (to areas north of Oregon Inlet) beginning Sunday, September 16 at 7:00 a.m. While the state of emergency is in effect and warnings from the National Weather Service remain, conditions may alter the reentry schedule.

Based on the hurricane warnings and storm surge warnings that remain in place, reentry for essential personnel, permanent residents, and property owners will begin on Saturday, September 15 at 7:00 a.m.

We want to note that many of our own employees evacuated, and we are running with a very limited staff – this includes members of our reservations, maintenance, and housekeeping departments. Many of our employees live in mainland areas that may have experienced flooding. The staff that is available are planning to return to the Outer Banks tomorrow morning to begin to prepare the homes for your arrival, and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to assess damage and prepare these homes.

If you are scheduled to arrive this weekend, your check-in may be delayed. We will be notifying you via email once your house is ready for check-in. You will likely see the effects of Hurricane Florence, including sand accumulation in pools, shingles down, minor exterior damage, and severe beach erosion. Pool and hot tub service will very likely be delayed. We again appreciate your patience as we recover from the storm and respond to service calls.

Our office will be open tomorrow morning (Saturday), at 9am, and we expect to experience a high call volume. For any travel insurance questions, please contact Red Sky Insurance directly at suntrippreserver.com or call 866-889-7409.

We are incredibly grateful that Hurricane Florence was not as catastrophic as anticipated for our area, and our hearts are with our neighbors to the south.


Sept 13 – 2:00pm 

As of this morning, the Outer Banks are beginning to feel the outer bands of Hurricane Florence, including strong winds and high wave activity. Some areas of Highway 12 are beginning to see over wash. The following watches and warnings are currently in effect for Dare County: a Storm Surge Warning, Hurricane Warning, High Surf Advisory, Flash Flood Watch, Beach Hazards Advisory, and a Tornado Watch. All towns remain under mandatory evacuation order.

Entry into Dare County is restricted at the Wright Memorial Bridge in Kitty Hawk and in Manteo. Only those with a Priority One pass (critical personnel) issued by Dare County Emergency Management, or those with a Critical Needs Pass issued by Currituck County Emergency Management are being allowed access.

Because Florence is forecasted to make landfall on southern North Carolina’s coastline, many news outlets are reporting that the Outer Banks will experience the brunt of the storm. However, if the track continues as predicted, the storm will be making landfall closer to the Southern Outer Banks near Wilmington, NC, which is closer to the NC/SC border and over 150 miles from us. Although we will continue to see effects (flooding, winds, and high surf, etc), this is improved news for our area.

If you are an incoming guest, please continue to monitor the weather and local ordinances. Once the storm passes, we plan to begin damage assessment and will be passing along information as quickly as is safely possible. We will inform you when re-entry for non-residents is allowed and your home is accessible. We have been (and will continue to be) in communication via email – if you are not receiving our emails, please check your junk/spam folders.

The Dare County Emergency Management website is a resource for the most up to date information. This video explains re-entry procedures and may answer questions about how that process works once an evacuation is lifted. For any travel insurance questions, please contact Red Sky Insurance directly at suntrippreserver.com or call 866-889-7409.


Sept 12, 2018 – 12:00pm 

All towns on the Outer Banks remain under a mandatory evacuation order, and a hurricane warning and storm surge warning are still in effect. Although the National Hurricane Center forecasted track has shifted towards the south, this is still a potentially dangerous, serious storm that will impact areas even hundreds of miles from where it makes landfall. The storm is forecasted to slow down as it reaches the NC coastline, and the path may change as it makes landfall due to slow movement and weak steering currents. Any shift to the north could still mean devastating impacts for our area. The Dare County Emergency Management team has encouraged residents and visitors to not let their guard down, and much or our staff has evacuated the area. 

It is important to note that the ‘cone of uncertainty’ in the image above from the National Hurricane Center shows the probable path of the storm center. It does not show the size of the storm. This storm is nearly 500 miles in diameter, and the effects will be far-reaching from where landfall occurs. 

If you are a current guest in one of our vacation rental homes, we again encourage you to comply with the mandatory evacuation order and leave the Outer Banks.

If you are an incoming guest, please continue to monitor the weather and local ordinances. Once the storm passes, we plan to begin damage assessment and will be passing along information as quickly as is safely possible. We will inform you when re-entry for non-residents is allowed and your home is accessible. We have been (and will continue to be) in communication via email – if you are not receiving our emails, please check your junk/spam folders.

The Dare County Emergency Management website is a resource for the most up to date information. This video explains re-entry procedures and may answer questions about how that process works once an evacuation is lifted. For any travel insurance questions, please contact Red Sky Insurance directly at suntrippreserver.com or call 866-889-7409.

We are excited to welcome you to the Outer Banks when conditions allows. The safety of our guests and staff is our number one priority at this time, and we again thank you for your patience and understanding.


Sept 11, 2018 – 10:30am

A Hurricane Watch and Storm Surge Watch is in effect for the Outer Banks.  A hurricane watch means hurricane force winds are possible in the area within the next 48 hours. A storm surge watch means life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline is possible in the area within the next 48 hours (information from Dare County Emergency Management). 

A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for all towns on the Outer Banks. If you are in one of our rental homes, you must gather your belongings and leave. Shops and grocery stores are closing, and emergency services may be suspended, meaning there will be no support for you if you decide to stay on the Outer Banks. Our office is closed until the evacuation is lifted and conditions allow, and all services from Carolina Designs have been suspended. 

If you are scheduled to arrive on the Outer Banks this coming weekend, please do not plan to travel to the Outer Banks until you receive information from us that re-entry has been permitted and your home is accessible. Because of the severity of this storm, there should be no expectation that your home will be available for arrival this coming weekend. 

The safety of our guests, staff, and families is our highest priority at this time. Please exercise extreme caution and common sense, and thank you for your understanding and patience as prepare for Hurricane Florence.

For guests with travel insurance, please visit http://www.suntrippreserver.com or call Red Sky Insurance directly at (866) 889-7409.


Sept 10, 2018 – 3:00pm

Our office will be closed tomorrow due to the mandatory evacuations for Dare and Currituck counties. We will reopen when the evacuation is lifted and conditions allow.

Thank you for your patience as we work through fielding calls and questions about Hurricane Florence. Please know that the safety of our guests, staff, and Outer Banks neighbors & friends is our highest priority. Understandably, visitors have questions about evacuations, re-entry, and what this means for your vacation. As is the case with any hurricane, there are many variables that will determine when visitors will be allowed back to the area, and we will be working to continually update this blog to keep everyone up to date with the latest information that we have.

Guests scheduled to arrive in the coming days, please do not plan to travel to the Outer Banks until you receive information from us that re-entry has been permitted and your home is accessible.

This video from Dare County Emergency Management explains evacuation and re-entry procedure, and may answer some of the questions that you have.


Sept 10, 2018 – 10:30 am

A mandatory evacuation for residents and visitors in areas of Dare County goes into effect beginning Tuesday, September 11 at 7:00 a.m. This includes the towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head. A mandatory evacuation of visitors to Currituck County Outer Banks will go into effect beginning Tuesday, September 11 at 7:00AM as well. This means that all guests of Carolina Designs will be under a mandatory evacuation order beginning Tuesday, September 11 at 7:00AM. For guests with travel insurance, please visit http://www.suntrippreserver.com or call (866) 889-7409.

All service requests will be suspended at 5pm today as we prepare for the storm’s arrival and our employees secure their own homes.

Our phones are experiencing high call volume. If you have a service request, we encourage you to email service@carolinadesigns.com

We will continue to post updates to our blog and encourage you to monitor the weather and local traffic conditions as you depart.


Sept 9, 2018 – 5:30 pm

Florence regains strength, path still uncertain.

There are no watches or warnings for the Outer Banks and no travel restrictions are in place. Florence has regained hurricane strength with maximum sustained winds of 85mph and intensification is expected to continue through the next few days. The “cone of uncertainty” continues to be very wide, from mid-Virginia to the South Carolina/Georgia border.

Visitors should obey red “no swimming” flags as these are areas of dangerous rip currents. Large surf is expected to continue through the week. Heavy surf could produce erosion around high tides.

High Tides for Sunday, September 9
Currituck Light: 8:05pm
Duck Research Pier: 7:57pm
Jennette’s Pier: 7:52pm

You can monitor weather reports and be aware of any updated watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service (NWS). For local weather conditions, visit http://www.weather.gov/mhx/.

For updated information from the National Hurricane Center, visit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.

Sign up to receive emergency notifications from Dare County Emergency Management at https://www.darenc.com/departments/emergency-management/emergency-alerts.

We will continue to post the most current information we have to this blog, including any notices from state and local officials.


Sept 9, 2018 – 12:30 pm

There are currently no watches or warnings for the Outer Banks. There are no travel restrictions in place.

The National Hurricane Center is calling for Florence to rapidly intensify in strength over the next 12-36 hours as it approaches the southeastern united states. While landfall is anticipated, the “cone of uncertainty” is still very large, extending from southern Maryland to the South Carolina/Georgia state line. It is still too soon to determine the exact timing, location and magnitude of any impacts, as any forecast beyond three days is very much subject to change. Right now, large swells and dangerous rip currents can be expected this week. Large surf may lead to beach erosion and ocean overwash in places around high tides. Tropical force winds (39mph or greater) are possible as the week progresses. Be aware of ocean conditions and obey red “no swimming” flags.

You can monitor weather reports and be aware of any updated watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service (NWS). For local weather conditions, visit http://www.weather.gov/mhx/.

For updated information from the National Hurricane Center, visit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.

Sign up to receive emergency notifications from Dare County Emergency Management at https://www.darenc.com/departments/emergency-management/emergency-alerts.

Please know that we are keeping a close eye on this storm and we will post any updates from state and local officials we receive right here on our blog. We will also be communicating with our current and incoming guests as the need arises and the storm’s path becomes more evident. If you are a current or arriving guest of Carolina Designs and have any questions, please contact us at (800) 368-3825.


Sept 8, 2018 – 12:30 pm

There are no watches or warnings for the Outer Banks.

We continue to monitor the path of Florence. Currently a Tropical Storm, Florence is approximately 1200 miles from Cape Hatteras with maximum sustained winds of 65mph. It is still too soon to determine specific impacts, if any, for eastern North Carolina and the Outer Banks. Regardless of the exact track, rough surf and dangerous rip currents are likely through much of this week. A State of Emergency has been declared for North Carolina, which, among other things, allows for the early harvesting of crops and movement of materials/resources within the state. A State of Emergency does not restrict travel.

We are keeping a close watch on Florence by continuously monitoring forecasts and alerts from the National Hurricane Center and the local National Weather Service office. We are also on the lookout for information from Dare and Currituck County officials, and we will post all pertinent details on this blog. We will also be communicating with our current and incoming guests as the need arises and the storm’s path becomes more evident. As of now, we are not directing our guests to alter their travel plans.

You can monitor weather reports and be aware of any updated watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service (NWS). For local weather conditions, visit http://www.weather.gov/mhx/.

For updated information from the National Hurricane Center, visit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.

Sign up to receive emergency notifications from Dare County Emergency Management at https://www.darenc.com/departments/emergency-management/emergency-alerts.


Sept 7, 2018 – 12:30 pm

We are monitoring Florence as it makes it way through the Atlantic. There are currently no watches or warnings in effect for the Outer Banks. It is still too early to determine the storm’s path, as any forecast beyond three days is very much subject to change.

We encourage you to monitor the weather. We will update this blog and share any alerts for local travel conditions and impacts to the area. If you purchased travel insurance, Red Sky Travel Insurance is the best source for any insurance-related questions.

Please note that our office receives high volumes of calls during severe weather. For commonly asked questions, please visit Severe Weather FAQ.

Helpful Storm Related Links:

AccuWeather.com