Although Hurricane Florence has officially left North Carolina, the impact of this storm will be felt for months to come - both near and far. Because we have so many displaced residents, evacuees, utility workers, and first responders staying in the Heart of North Carolina, we will leave this site alert and information page up for the next 30 days and reevaluate the need to continue these updates at that time. In the meantime, the Heart of North Carolina is open for business and welcoming visitors! For information about leisure travel, click HERE.
  • For updates on power outages statewide - click HERE
  • For road closures and conditions by county - click HERE or call 511 before traveling
  • To reach a North Carolina Toll-Free Call Center Live Operator call (800) VisitNC (800-847-4862) daily from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
  • For help finding fuel/gas - click HERE

For those who CANNOT get to their homes to assess damages, NOAA Remote Sensing Division has a Hurricane Florence Aerial Imagery Response site where you can use coordinates or zoom in and locate your property to get a real-time satellite view - click HERE

Local Area Announcements

  • The North Carolina Zoo, open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM is offering free admission to Hurricane Florence evacuees through Fri, Sep 21, 2018. Evacuees MUST identify themselves as an evacuee at the admissions gate and provide proof of residency in either North or South Carolina for free entry for a party up to six people - click HERE
  • The 5th Annual Honoring Our Vets Cruisin' at Wayne Thomas Chevrolet scheduled for Sat, Sep 15 has been rescheduled to Sat, Sep 29, 2018 - click HERE
  • The Big Galute Chili Cook-Off at Creekside Park scheduled for Sat, Sep 15 has been rescheduled to Sat, Sep 29, 2018 - click HERE
  • The Sunset Signature Series lecture with author Kevin Maurer, scheduled for Thu, Sep 13 has been rescheduled to Fri, Oct 5, 2018 - click HERE
  • The Worthville Mill Village program at St. Paul's Museum scheduled for Sun, Sep 16 has been rescheduled to Sun, Oct 21, 2018 - click HERE
  • The End of Summer Concert at Bicentennial Park featuring Pryor Baird scheduled for Sep 16th has been POSTPONE - click HERE

Local Area Communications Information

Heart of NC Visitors Bureau Public Relations Assistance

  • To reach by email - click HERE
  • For assistance by phone, call (704) 993-7871

-->Donate to Florence Recovery - click HERE

-->Register to Volunteer - click HERE

Emergency Unemployment Benefits Available
If you or your employees were unable to work because of Hurricane Florence or lost a job because of the storm, Disaster Unemployment Assistance is now available. Residents in the following counties are approved for Disaster Unemployment Assistance: Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, and Pender. Additional counties may be added to the DUA availability designation at a later date. Those who want to apply must file an application for benefits by October 17, 2018. Once an application is filed, you'll have 21 days to submit all the required documentation. To file an unemployment insurance claim related to the disaster, call (866) 795-8877 or click HERE(WECT, 9/17/18)

Federal Assistance Post-Storm
The site has information on philanthropic organizations recognized by FEMA, business resources for recovery and links to relevant government websites - click HERE

Rapid Recovery Loans Now Available
Most disaster recovery programs won't roll out until after Hurricane Florence leaves the state, but a relatively new program from the NC Rural Center announced its hurricane recovery loan program on Thursday. Thread Capital, which is affiliated with the center, will start taking applications next week for its "Rapid Recovery Loans" program - interest-free loans of up to $50,000 for North Carolina small businesses impacted by the hurricane. According to Thread's website, the loans can only be "used for maintaining or restarting a business" and must be paid off within 180 days. "Bridge loans are not designed to be a primary source of assistance for small businesses," the site explains. "As such, eligibility for funding is contingent on the pursuit of other funding sources, including SBA Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Repayment is expected upon receipt of funding from more permanent sources." To access the loan application - click HERE. (The Insider, 9/14/18)

Tax Extension Granted for Florence Victims
The NC Department of Revenue announced Monday that state tax relief for certain victims of Hurricane Florence and its aftermath will be available in conjunction with federal tax relief from the IRS. In response to Gov. Roy Cooper's request for help due to Hurricane Florence and President Donald Trump's major disaster declaration, the following counties are federally-declared as of Sept. 17, 2018: Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Lenoir, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Robeson, Sampson and Wayne. The federal tax relief gives taxpayers in the federally-declared counties until Jan. 31, 2019, to file certain individual and business tax returns, and make certain tax payments that were due on or after Sep 7, 2018, through Jan 31, 2019. This same relief period will apply for NC taxes due by taxpayers in federally-declared counties. Additionally, the NCDOR will waive all penalties for these taxpayers. To file an unemployment insurance claim related to the disaster, call (866) 795-8877 or click HERE(The Insider, 9/17/18)