Brunswick County Hurricane Updates In NC – Beach And Island Information

Hurricane updates and other latest information for beach and island locations in Brunswick County NC. This article will be updated frequently with data about the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) when there is an active storm, to get damage reports from readers, monitoring of data on category intensity, disaster recovery and relief efforts locally, and other data.

Please do not make preparations and evacuation decisions based on this article. Do make preparations and evacuation decisions based on Brunswick County emergency management officials, the NHC, and local authorities. All local island and beach hurricane updates will come straight from the official forecast decisions at the NHC.

forecast and updates
Area Highlighted In Red

All updates and preparations valid for Southport, Caswell Beach, Bird Island, Holden Beach, Oak Island, Sunset Beach, Shallotte, Varnamtown, and Grissettown.

Very Latest Information

There are currently no hurricane updates locally.

Critical Reminders

Treat ALL power lines, utility lines, transformers, and utility poles on the ground as though they have electricity flowing through them.

Do not drive over roads with moving or standing water.

If asked to evacuate do so. Remember, law enforcement, EMS, and rescue services will not be available during and after a tropical system.

Do not begin storm restoration repairs, siding repairs, roof repairs, or water remediation until after the storm has passed and winds are less than 20 mph.

Persistent life-threatening rip currents at Brunswick County beaches will exist a week before and after a hurricane or tropical system.

Storm surge and falling trees are the highest risk for safety. Move away from large water sources.

A tropical system making landfall well south of Brunswick County beaches still produces life-threatening storm surge, winds, and other conditions in all island locations. The threat for tornadoes and waterspouts are persistent 70 miles from the center of circulation.

This page IS monitored by a meteorologists who will provide commentary on the latest local data for area beaches and islands, but the main purpose of this document is to get damage reports and disaster recovery information from residents and readers using the no registration discussion form below.

Information we’re most interested in can include reports of flooding and storm surge from various locations around Brunswick County beaches, information on who is providing supplies, food, and water immediately after the storm, what grocery stores and convenience stores are open, storm restoration efforts, and other relief efforts. This page IS NOT maintained by any town officials, law enforcement or EMS, or Brunswick County officials.

Recommended Preparations and Evacuation Information

This section will list recommended hurricane preparations for the local area, along with evacuation reports from emergency management officials.

Have a significant quantity of non-perishable canned foods, batteries, flashlights, candles, oil lamps, water, and other supplies on hand. We find it’s best on everyone to buy 2 cans of non-perishable foods a week over the winter months. Plan on having enough food and water for up to 3 weeks.

Know your hurricane evacuation routes long before any storm is threatening the area.

If you or a loved one are medically unstable or have a medical device, evacuate regardless of category status or recommendations from officials.

Refill all medications now.

Fill a bathtub with water to use for flushing toilets if water pressure is lost.

Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings days before expected electricity loss.

Test generators for working order. Have enough gasoline for up to 3 weeks.

Fill all vehicles with gas.

Stock up on kerosene or charcoal for outdoor grills. Consider cooking meats before expected electricity loss.

If able, board up windows to your home.

Have enough pet food on hand for 3 weeks. Please do not abandon your pets if the decision to evacuate is made.

Remove all items from your property that could become flying debris.

Make sure weather radios are in working order.

Monitor this page and social media for Brunswick hurricane updates.

Have as much cash on hand as possible. Many stores open quick after a tropical system passes, but they will only be able to deal with cash until electricity is restored.

Once electricity is lost, turn off the main circut breaker to your home.

Category And Intensity

This section will list basic information on category classification and what to expect, but it’s important to remember that life-threatening conditions DO occur even in low category storms and even far from the center of circulation (the eye).

Category 1 (74-95 mph winds): Will result in some damage to siding, shingles on roofs, sporadic power outages, and downed power lines and transformers. Category 1 hurricanes will produce minimal storm surge, although still significant.

Category 2 (96-110 mph winds): Will result in extensive damage to siding, shingles on roof structures, significant power outages, and downed power lines and transformers. Category 2 hurricanes will produce increasing storm surge levels.

Category 3 (111-129 mph winds): Will result in devastating damage to siding, roof structures, homes, and commercial buildings, complete power outages, and downed power lines and transformers. Category 3 hurricanes will produce extremely dangerous and life threatening storm surge levels. Storms of this magnitude are classified as major systems.

Category 4 (130-156 mph winds): Will result in catastrophic damage to all commercial buildings and home structures, complete power outages, and downed power lines and transformers. Category 4 hurricanes will produce extremely dangerous and life threatening storm surge levels. Storms of this magnitude are classified as major systems.

Category 5 (157 or greater mph winds): Will result in catastrophic damage to all commercial buildings and home structures, complete power outages, and downed power lines and transformers. Category 5 hurricanes will produce extremely dangerous and life threatening storm surge levels. Storms of this magnitude are classified as major systems.

Storms at the Category 1 and Category 2 levels can still cause loss of life extending far from actual landfall.

Past Hurricanes

This section will list basic information on past hurricanes that impacted Brunswick County NC island and beach locations.

Hurricane Isaias in August of 2020: Hurricane Isaias made landfall at Ocean Isle Beach NC as a Category 1 85 mph system causing significant property damage, storm surge, electricity outages, flooding, and roof damage. Locations near Holden Beach, Shallotte, and Varnamtown were also hit while places near Oak Island, Southport, and Caswell Beach suffered only minimal damage. Roofing contractors reported working 6-8 months in the local area to fix roof damage after Isaias.


Hurricane Dorian in September of 2019: Hurricane Dorian was transitioning from a Category 2 to a Category 1 storm as it passed just offshore of Brunswick County NC, but it was still enough to cause electricity outages, storm surge, roof damage, and downed trees in all island and beach locations in the county. Roofing contractors reported working in the area for 6-8 months repairing property damage. Dorian’s eyewall came within 56 miles of the coastline locally and continued northward along the Topsail Island coastline and Outer Banks.


Hurricane Florence in September 2018: Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wilmington as a minimal Category 1 system but still caused intense flooding, wind damage, electricity outages, siding damage, and shingle damage on homes. Roofing contractors reported working in the area for 7-9 months to repair local damage in Caswell Beach, Southport, and Oak Island. Florence had a significantly different track than most systems along the East Coast of NC because it approached the area from Carteret County.



Low Pressure Versus High Pressure

All updates and preparations valid for Southport, Caswell Beach, Bird Island, Holden Beach, Oak Island, Sunset Beach, Shallotte, Varnamtown, and Grissettown.

When reporting Brunswick County hurricane data using the form below, please be sure to include what city and location you’re in.

What fuels these systems?

Michael Sharp

Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

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