Spencer prepares for hurricane rain, wind

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 12, 2018

SPENCER — Spencer’s monthly Board of Aldermen meeting went for more than three hours Tuesday as town leaders laid out strategies to clean up potential hurricane damage, made plans for the upcoming OctoberTour and argued over a proposed ordinance on rental property remediation.

As the meeting began, town administrators outlined precautions and services offered as Hurricane Florence barrels through North Carolina through the weekend.

“I’m hoping that thing will turn and go north,” Police Chief Mike James said.

But if it doesn’t, Spencer plans to be prepared. Town emergency personnel urge residents to have enough water, food and candles on hand to sustain them for 72 hours in case of power outages or downed trees.

“I’ve been telling everybody just to prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” Fire Chief Gray Grubb said.

Spencer’s fire station will host town operations in case of a power outage.

Joel Taylor, director of public works, said staff are expediting street sweeping and trash pickup before the storm hits. The town also has its annual mulch giveaway scheduled for Saturday. Taylor said he still plans to offer mulch to anyone who wants it but may hold a second giveaway when the weather clears.

“We’re not going to limit it to one day because of an event,” he said.

Land Management Director Troy Powell said it’s possible the storm could have a negative effect on the dam in Spencer Woods park. The structure, which maintains a shallow pond, has already been flagged as a concern.

A recent inspection indicates that the dam will survive any rain Florence brings to the area — but Powell said engineers are not certain of its lifespan beyond the storm.

In the meantime, town crews are focused on weathering the storm and cleaning up downed trees and power lines. The town has added a tab on its website to help residents prepare for the hurricane as well as a page where homeowners can report downed trees.

Visit www.ci.spencer.nc.us for more information.

In other business, the board:

• Approved as much as $1,700 for beautification efforts ahead of OctoberTour.

• Donated $200 to the town’s annual trunk-or-treat, held at the end of October.

• Spent more than an hour debating a policy that would help identify problem rental properties and may require landlords to participate in a remediation program should they own a problem property. More about that issue will be in Thursday’s Post.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264. 

Sites where you can find hurricane information