Local News

Fayetteville Plans Business As Usual Thursday, Though Some Flights Cancelled

Posted September 17, 2003

— As of close of business on Wednesday, the city of Fayetteville planned to operate on a regular business schedule for Thursday as

Hurricane Isabel

approached the North Carolina coast.

City officials have prepared for the approach of Hurricane Isabel since early Monday. But because of the storm's erratic approach toward the North Carolina coast and because Fayetteville appeared to be in the fringes of the storm's approach late Wednesday, city officials decided to start Thursday morning on a regular work schedule.

City employees were to report to work at regular hours, and the city's sanitation crews were scheduled to work their regular collection routes. Also, the city's transit service,

FAST,

was scheduled to operate on a normal schedule.

The Fayetteville Regional Airport has reported that Delta Airlines cancelled the last two flights departing Fayetteville on Wednesday, and both Delta and USAir cancelled flights to and from the airport for Thursday.

The city's Smith Recreation Center was opened at 5 p.m. Wednesday for individuals needing shelter and having special needs, such as keeping respirators and other medical devices powered.

The opening of the Smith Recreation Center, located at Seabrook and Langdon streets across from the Fayetteville State University football stadium, was in conjunction with the county opening South View High, Spring Lake Middle, and Mac Williams Middle schools as shelters.

Residents seeking shelter at these locations are asked not to bring pets. If emergency pet housing becomes necessary, residents are asked to call the Cumberland County Animal Shelter at

321-6852.

Based on weather reports late Wednesday, city and county emergency management officials expected Thursday morning to start off with blustery winds that could escalate throughout the day, depending on the path Hurricane Isabel chose once it arrived in North Carolina. City fire officials plan to remain at the County Emergency Operations Center throughout the night to monitor the approach of the storm and to immediately relay any information that would require the city to change its operating plans early Thursday.

City and Public Works Commission employees scheduled to work during the storm if it arrives in force in Cumberland County have been readying themselves since Monday, getting necessary equipment ready and acquiring additional equipment, such as chain saws and generators, and identifying additional reserve employees who will likely be called upon to work during the storm.

City fire and rescue crews will work hand-in-hand with PWC crews to secure downed power lines and reach citizens requiring aid if the need arises. City police are scheduled to work shifts that will last for the duration of the storm. City traffic employees have pre-positioned sandbags and barricades at streets and bridges that are prone to flooding. City police, fire, PWC will have communications and liaison officers in each respective emergency operation's center and County Emergency Operations Center.

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