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Board of Commissioners Chairman Vernon Bryant has signed a state of emergency declaration in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.

The declaration comes with no restrictions or prohibitions.

The text of the declaration says the county has determined “that an emergency exists in the county of Halifax because of the imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property imposed by Hurricane Dorian.”

Closings and cancelations

Thus far the threat from the storm locally has forced the closure of Halifax County Schools Thursday and the Roanoke Rapids Graded School District Thursday and Friday.

Halifax Community College will be closed Thursday and Friday.

Weldon City Schools are closed Thursday.

Choanoke Public Transportation Authority is closed Thursday.

Bertie County Small Claims Court for Friday is canceled and Hertford County court for Friday will operate on a two-hour delay with the possibility of closure.

The threat of the storm has canceled the NC MedAssist program with Cardinal Innovations and the Halifax County Council on Aging Saturday at T.J. Davis.

At this time there is no update on when the event will take place later in the year. 

National Weather Service

Little has changed since the last storm briefing around 11:30 this morning as well as one around 7 a.m., the National Weather Service said this evening.

“There has been very little change in the track of Hurricane Dorian, but the overall timing through central North Carolina has slowed down,” the agency said in its 5:30 briefing this evening. “Impacts in the form of wind gusts of 40- to 60- miles per hour and heavy rainfall of 4 to 8 inches are expected, primarily south and east of the Triangle.”

Business

New Dixie Oil President Scott Aman said in a statement the company, with John Elam, its wholesale operations manager, “will manage supply the best we possibly can.”

Said Aman: “At this time we have supply at all terminals. However, most likely in the days ahead, allocations will kick in and we may have some stores located on major eastern North Carolina evacuation routes that may run low or out of some products occasionally for short periods. At this time with all that I know,  I do not see us being completely out of gas or diesel at all area stores all at once.” 

The company remains concerned for high or flood waters, loss of power and utilities for the area, its sites and supply terminals.

U.S. Cellular is offering unlimited data usage and waiving late fees for customers in 311 North Carolina zip codes, including Halifax County, from today through September 10.

U.S. Cellular has a refueling service in place for its cell sites to ensure they will be running on commercial power or generators in order to keep them operational. 

Jeremy Taylor, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in eastern North Carolina, said in a statement, "U.S. Cellular’s network engineers have checked on local towers and will be continually monitoring the network. Our team is on hand to provide backup power generators to cell sites as needed and we have additional associate and vendor support in route to eastern North Carolina from Tennessee and Virginia to add service capacity to areas where and when it is needed most."

Customers are able to donate $10 to the American Red Cross relief efforts by texting “DORIAN” to 90999 and replying with “Yes.” 

The charge will be added to their bill.