Latest on Ian in Charlotte: Thousands without power

Latest on Ian in Charlotte: Thousands without power

Little Sugar Creek greenway Friday afternoon. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

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Charlotte felt Hurricane Ian’s effects, with gusty winds and rain leaving thousands without power in Mecklenburg County.

By the numbers: 2,885 customers were without power as of 2:30pm Saturday, and 171,426 statewide per PowerOutage.Us.  

  • North Carolina’s power outage count peaked around 418,000 shortly after 11pm Friday, per Gov. Roy Cooper’s office.

Catch up quick: Ian is now a post-tropical cyclone, after touching down in Florida Wednesday afternoon as a high-end Category 4 hurricane. It regained hurricane-level strength Thursday evening after weakening to a tropical storm, and made a second U.S. landfall as a hurricane in South Carolina Friday afternoon.

  • Cooper issued a state of emergency for North Carolina on Wednesday. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster also declared a state of emergency.

The big picture: The storm has passed — now comes recovery efforts, which become increasingly difficult with power outages.

Of note: CharMeck 311your point of contact for city services, extended its hours to include Saturday from 7am until 5pm.

By the numbers: Little Sugar Creek’s water level had been under 2 feet all week. It surpassed 8 feet before 5:30pm on Friday.

  • Minor flood stage for this section is  13.5 feet, moderate flood stage is  16 feet and major flood stage is  18 feet, per the U.S. Geological Survey.

What we’re watching: Cancelations and closures of everything from flights to weekend events to parks.

  • Breakaway Music Festival has been rescheduled for spring 2023.
  • The Pink Cupcake Walk for breast cancer andTaste of Charlotte Festival at Truist Field were pushed to Oct. 7-9.
  • Football: CMS and Rock Hill Schools’ Friday night football games were played Thursday night. CMS also moved junior varsity football games to Monday, Oct. 3. 
  • Charlotte International Arts FestivalBlumenthal Performing Arts canceled all outdoor events for Thursday and Friday.
  • “Evil Dead The Musical” by Actor’s Theater of Charlotte has been postponed until Oct. 5.
  • Moo & Brew Fest postponed Saturday’s event. A new date has not been set. 
  • Sycamore Brewing rescheduled their moving party for Oct. 7-8.
  • The Greater Charlotte Heart Walk rescheduled Saturday’s event for Oct. 16. 
  • Queens University of Charlotte rescheduled several athletics events, including Saturday’s soccer game, which will be played on Monday.
  • Carowinds was closed on Friday. Tickets for that date will remain valid through Dec. 31.

North Carolina State ParksA number are closed, including:

  • Hammocks Beach State Park’s ferry service and campground will be closed through Saturday.
  • Fort Fisher State Recreation Area’s 4×4 beach will be closed Friday and Saturday.
  • Mount Mitchell State Park will be closed due to the Blue Ridge Parkway’s closure.
  • They will continue to evaluate on a park-by-park basic, North Carolina State Parks spokesperson Katie Hall told Axios.

Of note: Charlotte FC, the Carolina Panthers and the Charlotte 49ers are all monitoring the weather, but still plan to go on.

Here are 10 suggestions from local officials to help you prepare:

1. Stay home if you can.

  • “Enjoy that time with your family, read a book, watch Netflix, cook something great,” Graham said.

2. Turn around, don’t drown.

  • You don’t know how deep water is. Don’t try to drive through it.
  • “Remember, your car is not a boat,” Charlotte Fire Department Captain Jackie Gilmore said during Thursday’s media briefing.
  • By the numbers: “Six inches of moving water can knock a person over, [and] a foot of moving water could move a car,” John Wendel, a communication specialist with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services, said.

3. Call 311 for city services and 911 for emergencies only.

  • If a tree comes down in your yard, for instance, and it’s not life-threatening, call 311, but if a tree comes down and it’s blocking your street, call 911.
  • Speaking of trees, if you don’t know how to operate a chainsaw, don’t try to figure it out this weekend.
  • Call your energy provider for power outages.

4. Charge your cell phone and download weather apps.

5. Fill an emergency kit with supplies for up to 72 hours, including necessary medications.

6. Be prepared to be without power for 48 hours.

  • Make sure you have plenty of batteries for flashlights.
  • “Never use candles for lighting,” Charlotte Fire Department Captain Jackie Gilmore said during Thursday’s media briefing.

7. Bring pets inside.

8. Secure items in your yard.

9. Clear your storm drains. 

  • If you don’t feel comfortable clearing them yourself, call 311.
  • If you see blockages in local creeks before the rain starts, call 311.

10. Check on your neighbors and the elderly. 

Holt Street and East 34th Street Friday afternoon. Photo: Jesse Soloff/Axios

Holt Street and East 34th Street Friday afternoon. Photo: Jesse Soloff/Axios

Editor’s note: This is a developing story. This story was last updated on Oct. 1. 

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