ONSLOW COUNTY, NC— Onslow County Government is implementing precautionary measures in anticipation of Winter Storm Helena. Based on the latest forecast from the National Weather Service (NWS), Onslow County is projected to receive a wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain beginning late Friday night (1/6) and into Saturday evening (1/7). The NWS predicts Onslow County will receive ice throughout most of the area; the western part of the County is predicted to receive 0.20 (two-tenths) of an inch of ice. Any ice accumulation brings the potential for power outages, downed trees and unsafe traveling conditions on roadways.
Onslow County Government will be closely monitoring Winter Storm Helena. In the event of widespread power outages, the County will stand up an emergency shelter at Jacksonville Commons Middle School (315 Commons Drive S.), which is equipped to assist those with special needs as well as pets. Should the emergency shelter be necessary, the information will be immediately published on Onslow County’s website and various media platforms.
Out of concern for the safety of citizens and staff, the following Onslow County Government offices/services will be closed Saturday, January 7, 2017:
- Onslow County Animal Services will be closed to the public (Animal control officers will respond to calls for service. Staff will report to care for animals in our charge).
- All Onslow County Public Library branches
- Onslow County Museum
- Onslow County Parks & Recreation (all facilities closed, all weekend activities canceled).
Offices and services of the aforementioned departments will resume normal operating hours at the next scheduled business day.
Onslow County Emergency Services Director Norman Bryson reassures that personnel are prepared for the weather event and ready to respond to citizen needs. Bryson stresses the importance of taking the time to check insulation of pipes to avoid freezing.
“We advise citizens to ensure their homes are winterized for a weather event such as this. During the cold temperatures overnight, let faucets drip to help keep pipes from freezing. Citizens should also exercise safety around heating sources- for example- space heaters. Ensure equipment is running properly and have a fire extinguisher nearby as a precaution.”
Crews at the Albert J. Ellis Airport (OAJ) are prepared to begin treating the runway, taxiways and roads for ice. Crews are prepared to plow any accumulated snow to ensure the safety of aviators and passengers. Airlines are already cancelling flights and rebooking passengers at many of the region’s hubs- Atlanta, Charlotte, and Washington, DC. All North Carolina airports are already experiencing flight cancellations. If you have air travel plans over the weekend, please contact the airlines to find out if your flight has been impacted. Airlines are waiving change fees in many cases. If you need to leave early or postpone your trip, act quickly as available seats will fill up soon.
Please reference the following helpful points from our staff at OAJ:
Tips for Winter Travel:
o Visit www.flyOAJ.com for live flight status information.
o Share itineraries, phone numbers etc. with family and friends.
o Sign up for automatic updates on the airlines’ website and download the ReadyNC app for road conditions.
o Follow the weather reports online for your destination as well as any connecting cities along your route.
- Allow Extra Time
o Don’t rush! Allow extra time for the drive to the airport.
o Plan to arrive early to reduce stress- one hour in advance for domestic travel and two hours for international.
- Pack Smart
o Pack proper clothing for your destination, but not too much.
o Carry on chargers and favorite snacks. Delays are common during the winter.
o Keep travel documents, medicines, keys etc. in your carry-on luggage.
o Gas up and put extra supplies in your car should you get delayed on the way to the airport.
Please be alert for future press releases and monitor Onslow County resources for updates: