Stumpy Point first responders, residents ready for Florence

By on September 13, 2018

Vehicles parked at Stumpy Point’s highest elevation: the U.S. 264 intersection. (Sandy Semans Ross)

The Stumpy Point Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department has completed all of its pre-storm preparations and now just waits.

The smallest fire department in Dare County has the same responsibilities as other volunteer departments, just on a smaller scale.

Prepping has included taking a census of the village to see who is heeding the evacuation order and if not, how many will be staying in each home.

The information is needed in case there is a catastrophic event and we need to know how many people — a live or otherwise — to account for after the storm.

This has been a moving target over the past three days as folks change their minds about leaving or are planning to leave their homes but stay with others in the village.

We also make sure that residents with medical problems who require special equipment or are too frail to take care of themselves go to safety.

We have a community email list-serve so that village have the same information that is coming to the department. This also lets those who have evacuated have a way to know what’s happening back home.

Stumpy Point is 30 miles from Nags Head. (Google Maps)

Residents have been reminded that hope floats, and so do propane tanks and sheds, so they’ve been asked to make sure items have been anchored down.

On Tuesday night, a walk-thru for firefighters who are staying in the village included what to expect during the storm, and how to switch to generator power at the fire hall and community center.

Roads to the village will have to be checked for downed trees that block passage so they can be removed to allow utility and other essential traffic to reach the village.

From the junction of U.S. 64/264 to the Hyde County line is about 30 miles and is the department’s responsibility.

Cots are stored in case there are those who need to sleep in the community center for a night or so. Cleanout kits, bleach, face masks, bottled water, tarps and roofing nails are ready to be handed out.

While picking up supplies at the emergency management storage building, I waited until a large box truck was loaded to make the trip to Hatteras Island. Inside were more pallets of items to be transported south of the inlet. I silently sent my prayers with the boxes in hopes that our southern across-the-sound neighbors fare well.

Shrimp boats read to ride it out in the harbor. (Sandy Semans Ross)

One of the really bright spots of preparing for this storm has been that Drew Pearson, the emergency management coordinator, and Steve Kovacs, his assistant and fire marshal, have been very organized, and have gone above and beyond communicating with those who serve as well as the general public.

Kudos to them both!

Someone asked if I was frustrated by the fact that the storm might switch course and all the work will be for naught.

“No,” I replied. “We live on the Outer Banks and there will always be the next storm.”

Along with being a retired newspaper editor, regular contributor to the Outer Banks Voice, chairwoman of Outer Banks Catch AND member of the Dare County Board of Elections, Sandy is also the Chief of the Stumpy Point Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.

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