The lights are coming on, the heat is back on!! “It’s electric” once again in Southern Pines! We’re as excited as you are to see power coming back on street by street, building by building.
This will be our final update from our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) which we’ve manned around the clock since Saturday evening. As you can see, it cleared out quickly as our tired team got word that power was restored in our own homes and we had hot water waiting for showers and warm beds for rest.
We hope you’ve found our updates and resources helpful during this trying time. If you’ve enjoyed our attempts to provide a little levity, our communications team is led by Assistant Town Manager Jessica Roth, with support from Parks & Recreation Director Cindi King and Librarian Mary Howard. If you found our attempts weren’t as comical or lighthearted as we intended, especially as we got delirious in the EOC, know that we stole our commentary from the Village of Pinehurst.
I, your Assistant Town Manager and self-proclaimed NASA nerd (which means I’m automatically a fan of the movie Apollo 13), feel like Gene Kranz and can take off my white vest in the EOC now that the power is back on.
In all seriousness, we are public servants at heart and it is our privilege to serve our community every day, but especially during the greatest times of need. We are your fellow community members, almost all of us your neighbors in Southern Pines or Moore County, and we understand firsthand your stresses and exhaustion because they have been ours as well.
The Town of Southern Pines fully recognizes that the hardships do not end just because the power came back on today. Our local businesses are still hurting, being closed for four days at the peak of the Christmas season. Our local residents are still hurting; many went unpaid as they didn’t work during this time. We must replenish perishable foods at a time when food prices are at a premium. Our community has less disposable spending power to go #shoplocal right now and build back up our local businesses who are at the heart of our normally thriving economy.
It’s a distressing cycle caused by a malicious act in our beautiful community. But we are #MooreCountyStrong and we are neighbors who help neighbors. We shared a quote from Coretta Scott King earlier this week, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” We were and still are a GREAT community because we are filled with compassionate community members. If anything, we are an even greater community today than we were just four days ago, before this took place, due to the outpouring of compassion all across Moore County.
The Town will continue securing resources as best we can to help with some of these lasting stresses and we will direct them into the community as best we can. If you are able to assist and would like our suggestions on how best to help, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Megan Threatt at email@example.com
As power is restored, Fire Chief and Assistant Town Manager Mike Cameron offers the following tips to bring your home or business back online safely:
- Check the status of appliances, such as electric ranges, which may have been operating when the power went off on Saturday evening.
- Consider proactively shutting breakers off now, especially for large appliances like washers and dryers, air handlers, HVAC equipment, water heaters, and similar. Then bring these items back online gradually, rather than all at once.
- Before switching back to electric power, ensure you have powered off your generators.
- Safely store fuel that was used for generators, keeping it out of occupied spaces and way from flammable sources.
Our fire department available if you experience challenges getting your equipment powered back up safely. Please call us at 911 if we can assist.
Police Chief Nick Polidori shares that his department is getting a large number of alarm calls as systems are coming back online, which likely need to be reset. Police personnel are responding as quickly as they are able. If your alarm has activated due to a current emergency, please also call 911 so we can appropriately prioritize your call.
Red Cross will return Thursday to the Morganton Road Sports Complex at 105 Fire Lane. They will serve hot lunch from 12:30-2:30pm or until they run out of food.
The Haney Community Room and lobby of the Southern Pines Police Station at 450 W. Pennsylvania Ave. will remain open through today to the public for those who may not have received power or internet yet.
Our Library has closed for the day and ended our shelter services so that staff can reset our building. The Library will re-open at 10am on Thursday, December 8 with traditional circulation services. Staff will also have toys and games out since the schools will remain closed.
The following Town buildings will open again for normal hours and services on Thursday, December 8: administration; Campbell House; community development; finance and utility billing; and park restrooms. We tentatively plan to re-open the E.S. Douglass Community Center at noon on Thursday as this large, historic facility takes more extended time to warm back up.
Parks and recreation programs are suspended through Friday, December 9. Staff will continue to reach out to registrants about credits and refunds.
If you have a rental scheduled for the E.S. Douglass Community Center, Train House, or Train Station between now and Monday morning and would like to cancel or reschedule, please contact our Parks & Rec office at 910-692-2463. We will waive any cancellation fees during this time, as we understand your circumstances may have changed.
The Town Council agenda meeting on Wednesday, December 7 has been canceled and will not be rescheduled. The next meeting of the Town Council will be on Tuesday, December 13 at 6pm at the E.S. Douglass Community Center.
The public input meeting for the Whitehall master plan for Thursday, December 8 has been canceled. This meeting will be rescheduled and the Town will release details when they are available.
We will continue to post small updates about the resources and aid that are available as our community recovers from this situation. We will put together a larger update in the future so that we can better recognize those who have come to our aid, as there are many! On behalf of the entire Southern Pines and Moore County community, we offer gratitude from the bottom of our hearts for the outpouring of support and warm wishes that have been provided for our residents, small businesses, and staff. We are #SouthernPinesStrong #MooreCountyStrong and #NorthCarolinaStrong and we #LoveWhereWeLive and we #LoveWhatWeDo
Jessica Roth, Assistant Town Manager, and your entire Town of Southern Pines staff