After the Storm

Do not return to evacuated areas until local officials say it is safe to do so.

  • Stay away from downed power lines. Report downed power lines on the city electric system to (252) 975-9320.
  • Wear shoes and watch for debris outside and in flooded buildings.
  • Guard against spoiled food.
  • The City of Washington's water system is not vulnerable to contamination from flooding. In the unlikely event that damage should occur that could contaminate the city water system during a hurricane, or at any other time, the public will be notified.
  • Private wells that were flooded will need to be disinfected before use. Beaufort County Health Department recommends hiring a licensed plumber to properly chlorinate the well. Call the Health Department's Environmental Health Division at (252) 946-6048 with any questions regarding well disinfection.
  • Don't use appliances that have been wet. Replace or professionally service flooded water heaters before using.
  • Guard against fire when using lanterns, candles, camp stoves and grills.
  • Use generators, grills, gas-powered machines, and camp stoves outdoors. Do not burn charcoal inside.
  • Be alert for gas leaks. Do not use candles or lanterns to inspect damage.
  • Do not swim or wade in flood waters, which can be contaminated. Shallow moving water can knock you down. Standing water can hide hazards.
  • Watch for small animals and snakes.
  • Do not sightsee in damaged areas. Traffic interferes with clean-up and repairs and emergency vehicle access.
  • Do not drive through flooded streets or cross barricades across roads. Streets and bridges may have been washed out.
  • Do not joyride through flooded streets, which causes wakes that can further damage adjacent property. Violators in the city can be cited for careless and reckless driving.