Business owners and residents are advised to prepare for more rain and possible flooding expected later this week in the still-recovering Wilmington area.
Hurricane Michael, a Category 1 storm as of Monday morning, is expected to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle, according to a National Weather Service news briefing. The storm system was forecasted to make its way to Eastern North Carolina by Thursday.
Residents and business owners with roof damage need to prepare for additional heavy rainfall, states the briefing.
Area residents should also prepare for tropical storm force winds by securing anything damaged by Florence and other loose objects.
Rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches are expected in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties with isolated higher amounts possible.
There is a high risk of inland flooding due to Michael because some lands are still saturated from Hurricane Florence; not much rainfall is needed to cause more flooding in the area, according to the report.
The weather service also states power outages are possible since some grounds are still wet and already weakened trees will not require much wind to topple over into power lines.
In preparation for Michael, Duke Energy meteorologists are monitoring weather conditions and crews are checking equipment to ensure they have adequate materials to make repairs and restore power outages, said company spokeswoman Candice Knezevic in an email Monday.
“As with any storm that may impact our service territory, we are continuing to monitor the forecast right now, so we have the best plan in place to respond,” Knezevic said. “We are prepared and always encourage customers to be prepared for power outages as well.”
Along with the Carolinas, Duke Energy also services customers Florida, where some mandatory evacuations have already been made.
As a safety reminder, Duke officials said to stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging and to consider all power lines energized as well as trees or limbs that are in contact with the lines.
Pender County Emergency Manager Tom Collins said in a news release Monday that the storm has the potential of bringing several inches of rain and possible tornados.
Pender County business and homeowners should prepare for another significant storm and residents should start making roof preparations, Collins said.
“Residents need to make certain tarps are properly secured by furring strips along all four sides of the tarps,” said Collins in the release. “If tarps are not properly secured, homeowners could have more rain damage.”
Natalie English, president and CEO of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, said business owners should be proactive.
"Businesses that might have suffered damage from Hurricane Florence should certainly repair any roof or window damage to prevent further damage," she said.
She also cited the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's top 10 preparedness tips
as some of the steps Wilmington area businesses can take to prepare for Hurricane Michael.
Some of the things she recommends include identifying the potential causes of disruptions to business operations and being proactive to lessen the potential impact on equipment, buildings, facilities, inventory and storage.