|Town of Clayton crews from our Police, Fire, Clayton Public Power and Public Works departments have been preparing and are on standby to respond to any problems caused by Hurricane Florence. In fact, our whole team has stepped up to help run our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Fire Station One in Downtown Clayton. It’s open and will be running 24/7 through this weekend. If you have an emergency, please call 911.
Even though Florence has changed course, Clayton still expects rain for days (through Sunday), major flooding and dangerous winds! As of 5:30 p.m. Thursday,the National Weather Service is predicting FOR CLAYTON potential for winds of 58 to 73 mph and MAJOR flooding rain beginning late Thursday and Friday morning. Those conditions mean:
- There may be evacuations and rescues.
- Rivers and tributaries may rapidly overflow their banks in multiple places.
- Small streams, creeks, and ditches may become dangerous rivers.
- Flood control systems and barriers may become stressed.
- Flood waters can enter many structures within multiple communities, some structures becoming uninhabitable or washed away. Many places where flood waters may cover escape routes.
- Streets and parking lots become rivers of moving water with underpasses submerged.
- Driving conditions become dangerous.
- Many road and bridge closures with some weakened or washed out.
Look up your address on this flood plain map so check your flood risk. Forecasters predict that if you flooded during Hurricane Matthew in October of 2016, you are likely to flood again in this storm.
The Neuse River is rising – the Neuse will reach its highest flood levels several days following the rains of Florence, so we will likely see the worst RIVER flooding Sunday evening through Tuesday. Check this map for the Neuse River level updates.
58-78 mph wind gusts mean:
- Some damage to roofing and siding materials, along with damage to porches, awnings, carports, and sheds
- A few buildings experiencing window, door, and garage door failures
- Mobile homes damaged, especially if unanchored
- Unsecured lightweight objects become dangerous projectiles.
- Several large trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted.
- Several fences and roadway signs blown over.
- A few roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places.
- A few bridges, causeways, and access routes impassable.
- Scattered power and communications outages, but more prevalent in areas with above ground lines.
Openings & Closings
All Town facilities closed at 5 p.m. Thursday and will remain closed through the weekend. Town officials will assess whether we can re-open for Monday. A Town Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Parks & Recreation, Library & The Clayton Center
All classes, programs, athletics and childcare programs at the Clayton Community Center, Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library and The Clayton Center are cancelled. Several churches regularly meet on Sunday morning in The Clayton Center and staff will make a call on Saturday as to whether those Sunday services can still happen. All games, practices and tournaments scheduled at Clayton parks and facilities for Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 13-16, have been canceled. All greenways are CLOSED until further notice due to the potential for flooding.
Town officials and Clayton Chamber of Commerce leaders have postponed this week’s Clayton Harvest Festival. This popular community event is rescheduled for Oct. 31 through Nov. 4th and is joining forces with The Shindig festival that weekend!
Garbage, Recycling & Yard Waste Collection
As of Thursday at 1 p.m., All Star completed the entire week’s yard waste routes and all Monday through Friday garbage and recycling routes. Friday’s collection has been postponed until Monday. Please, please…remember to roll your carts back from the street and place them inside your garage, shed or as far out of the wind as possible so they do not blow around in the expected wind.
If Your Power Goes Out
- Do NOT try to touch downed wires – if you see downed wires – call 911.
- You may call Clayton Public Power at 919-553-1530 if you lose power, however, our system alerts us when outages occur. We may not be able to give you an estimated time of restoration as our crews are busy trying to make the repair. Riverwood residents are customers of Duke Energy and can call 800-POWER ON (800-769-3766).
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Food usually stays frozen about 48 hours. A refrigerator can keep food cold for about four hours. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out.
- Hooking up your generator directly to your electrical panel or your home is not only dangerous, it’s illegal. The power from your generator can back-feed into the power lines around your house – that can hurt or even kill you, your neighbors or our linemen. To avoid back-feeding: 1) use a transfer switch or 2) do direct hook-ups using drop (extension) cords from the appliances you want to use to the generator.
- If you lose power, turn off as many appliances and electronics as possible. This helps with restoration efforts because it reduces the immediate demand on power lines when power is restored.
- Once your power is restored, please wait a few minutes before turning your equipment back on.
Water & Sewer
Electricity is not required for your county water service or to flush toilets. However, during Hurricane Matthew we did see water lines break in floodwater, so all residents should prepare for water interruptions. Fill sinks and tubs with water and fill containers with tap water now for drinking later.
When water is restored, Johnston County, which supplies the water supply to Town of Clayton customers, will issue a boil water advisory. Customers should boil their tap water before using it for drinking purposes. Tap water should be boiled vigorously for at least one full minute prior to use. The minute starts when the water begins to bubble. Water should be boiled for the following uses: drinking, cooking, ice making, washing dishes, brushing teeth, preparing food or drinks, and water for animals. Wait for the water to cool before using or store in the refrigerator in a clean container. Do not use water from any appliance connected to your water lines. Boiling removes any harmful bacteria in the water that may cause illness. Continue to follow the boil water advisory until notified by Public Utilities that water is safe to drink.
The closest shelter to Clayton is Clayton High School at 600 Fayetteville Street in Downtown Clayton, NC. There are still plenty of empty cots there as of Thursday afternoon.Benson Middle School
1600 North Wall Street
Benson, NC 27504
West Johnston High School (Pet Friendly Co-Location)
5935 Raleigh Road
Benson, NC 27504
North Johnston Middle School was a 4th shelter, but has already filled up with 230 people. Residents who anticipate evacuating to a shelter should gather their personal items to include: bedding, medication, comfort and personal hygiene items; infant supplies such as formula, bottles, disposable diapers and pacifiers; and important personal documents. Items that will not be allowed at the shelters include pets (unless otherwise designated), alcoholic beverages and weapons of any type.
Clear Storm Drains
Town of Clayton crews and our residents have been clearing obstructions from storm drains along local streets and roadways. We can’t thank them enough! You can assist in this effort and help prevent flooding by clearing debris from storm drains along your streets. Clogged grates are often the #1 reason streets flood during a storm. And it can happen quickly! During the storm if you see water building up, run out and work to clear drain. Our crews will be checking trouble spots as well. If storm conditions are too dangerous to risk going out for a few minutes to clear a drain, call our Emergency Operations Center at 919-553-1530 and they can alert our Town staff.
Stay Off the Roads
Once the wind and rain start, please stay off the roadways. You are not only putting yourself at risk, but others as well, including the police officers, firefighters and first responders who many need to come help you. Help yourself, your neighbors, law enforcement and first responders by simply staying off the roads.
If you experience rising water where you are:
- Immediately seek higher ground
- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not park in low-lying areas.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, leave the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly. REMEMBER – TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN!
To stay up-to-date on Town of Clayton weather closures and road conditions: