June 1 marks the start of the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has forecast an above-average season. CFPUA staff and facilities stand prepared to ensure our community maintains consistent access to critical water and wastewater services during and after severe weather.
When a hurricane or tropical storm is approaching the region, CFPUA stands up its emergency operations center, which remains active until the weather threat has passed and through recovery as needed. In some instances when severe weather impacts are expected, essential staff may be dispatched to shelter in-place at CFPUA’s water and wastewater facilities during a storm.
To ensure electrical power is available, most CFPUA sites have emergency generators on-site year-round, while portable generators are dispatched to the remaining sites ahead of severe weather.
Over the past year, CFPUA expanded emergency generator capacity at several sites, including our laboratory, the Northside Wastewater Treatment Plant, and our Kings Bluff Pump Station on the Cape Fear River.
Earlier in 2022, CFPUA and our regional partners at Lower Cape Fear Water and Sewer Authority and Brunswick County completed work on a second Raw Water Transmission Main from Kings Bluff. This additional raw water main helps ensure that utilities in Southeastern North Carolina will maintain a continuous supply of raw water should one of the mains be damaged by severe weather.
In preparation for each hurricane season, CFPUA also leases additional fuel storage tanks for critical facilities, including our two water treatment plants and two wastewater treatment plants. In the event of a widespread, prolonged loss of power, additional stored fuel capacity would allow these facilities to continue running for days.
In 2019, CFPUA purchased a 2,800-gallon fuel truck as well as 15 100-gallon fuel saddle tanks that can fit in the beds of pickup trucks. This allows CFPUA to deliver fuel to its own facilities. CFPUA also has an emergency fuel contract with a regional vendor to ensure that generators at all our facilities have a supply of fuel.
Customers can sign up for CFPUA news and alerts, including for inclement weather and interruptions to water or sewer service, at this link.
CFPUA also encourages customers to get more information on hurricane preparedness from New Hanover County Emergency Management at ReadyNHC.com.