Chapel Hill Prepares for Hurricane Florence

Town of Chapel Hill Release

The National Weather Service in Raleigh is forecasting Hurricane Florence to impact Chapel Hill and central North Carolina as early as Wednesday, Sept. 12, through the weekend.

The National Weather Service in Raleigh is forecasting Hurricane Florence to impact Chapel Hill and central North Carolina as early as Wednesday, Sept. 12, through the weekend.

“This is shaping up to be one of the biggest storms in North Carolina’s recorded history, and we’re taking it very seriously,” said Town of Chapel Hill Emergency Management Coordinator Vencelin Harris. “If you haven’t begun preparations, it’s time. Your safety is our utmost concern.”

For the latest forecast, visit

Sustained winds of tropical storm force (up to 73 miles per hour) could be present with this storm, and high volumes of rain are expected. Flooding in low-lying areas is expected.

Neighborhood Liaisons | Emergency Shelters | Pre-storm Activities | Areas that Flood | Town and Community Services and Events

Neighborhood Liaisons
Wont’ you be a Good Neighbor Liaison? The Town of Chapel Hill is looking for residents who would like to share and exchange information from the Town with residents in their neighborhoods and homeowners associations.  Good Neighbor Liaisons can register at

Emergency Shelters
Orange County Emergency Management is responsible for setting up and managing shelters. Should we need to establish shelters, the County will open them at pre-identified locations. Notifications will be sent through Town and County channels as well as local media outlets. For more information, visit

If you’re not signed up for OC Alerts–a fully-customizable emergency alert service–you can do so or check your preferences at

We also encourage you to tell family and friends now about the American Red Cross Safe and Well List website, so they will know how to get your “safe and well” message in an emergency. In the event of an emergency, you can register on the website.

Pre-storm Activities

  • Town crews have been working on pre-storm readiness activities including checking and cleaning as needed stormwater drains, prepping generators and chainsaws, and planning a coordinated emergency response.
  • If you live in a flood-prone area (see below), be vigilant. Pay attention to weather updates and your local media – including the Town of Chapel Hill at – and via email notices (sign up at
  • Clear and secure your yard debris that could cause damage in high winds (examples: grills, patio furniture, play sets, lawn maintenance equipment)
  • Prepare a disaster preparedness kit. Your kit should be able to support you for up to 72 hours. For more information, visit
  • To report emergency issues, call 911. These issues may be rising waters, fallen trees or other public safety needs.

Areas of Chapel Hill that are subject to flooding during periods of extended and/or extensive heavy rain:

  • South Estes Drive near Willow Drive
  • Camelot Village Apartments off of South Estes Drive
  • Brookwood Condominiums off of South Estes Drive
  • South Estes public housing neighborhood on Estes Drive Extension near University Place
  • Umstead Drive between Umstead Park and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
  • Cleland Road between Kendall Drive and Hayes Road
  • West Franklin Street at Mallette Street
  • East Franklin Street at Park Place

Town and Community Services and Events

  • Town-sponsored programs and events Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 5 p.m., through Saturday, Sept. 15, are canceled. Facilities are open. Adjustments to facility schedules will be announced through Town communication channels.
  • Wednesday’s Chapel Hill Town Council meeting is postponed. A make-up date will be announced at a later date.
  • Adjustments to Town meetings will be posted to Other Town services will remain fully operational as long as it’s safe for attendees as well as Town staff. Updates will be posted at
  • Tar Heel Downtown, Friday, Sept. 15, is canceled.
  • Chapel Hill Public Library will make adjustments during the weather event.No items will be due from Thursday through Monday and no fines will accrue from Thursday through at least Monday.We will also extend the time period for items on hold during the weather event.If you have an item due or due to be picked up during the storm, please do not worry – you can return or pick up items after the storm without penalty.
  • For the latest information from Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, visit
  • For the latest information from UNC-Chapel Hill, visit

Stay Connected
The Town of Chapel Hill provides information about services during emergencies on its website, Follow the Town’s social media accounts for updates: Twitter – @ChapelHillGov@ChapelHillFD, and; and Instagram – ChapelHillGov.

September is National Preparedness Month
Regardless of the impact Hurricane Florence has on our community, it provides a great opportunity for all of us to prepare for a variety of incidents that could affect us.

Visit for more information and resources to help you prepare.