FEMA - FRAN Situation Report 3P

Situation Report
Originally published
Reporting Period: 7 a.m. EDT, September 6, 1996 to 7 a.m. EDT, September 7, 1996

After making landfall near Cape Fear, NC, Hurricane FRAN sped inland and raced up through North Carolina, Virginia, the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, west central Maryland and into western Pennsylvania. Heaviest damage was on the North Carolina coast at Cape Fear, Kure Beach and the City of Wilmington. However, the strong winds FRAN generated did extensive damage elsewhere, mostly to power lines, especially in North Carolina and Virginia. As it moved quickly through the mid-Atlantic region, FRAN weakened rapidly into a tropical storm.

The heavy rains which FRAN generated caused extensive flooding in a six-state area. In North Carolina major flooding, in some cases record flooding, is expected on portions of Crabtree Creek, the Haw River, the Neuse River, the Tar River and the Cape Fear River.

In Virginia record floods are also anticipated on the Dan River between Danville and South Boston. In addition, major flooding will occur on the Roanoke River with significant flooding on the James, Rappahanock, Appomattox and the headwaters of the Shenandoah Rivers. Some rivers may crest way beyond flood stage by as much as 75 to 100%. Flood stage at Richmond is 9 feet and the expected crest is 30-31 feet by mid-morning Sunday.

The Cheat and Tygart Rivers in West Virginia also pose a flooding threat for the Monogahela River in Pennsylvania, part of the Ohio River basin.

Although little damage was reported, the system spawned several tornadoes.

The Region IV Regional Operations Center confirms 11 deaths in North Carolina and in South Carolina. The Virginia State EOC reports one unconfirmed death in Virginia.

The news media is consistently reporting a total of 17 deaths in South and North Carolina.


The weather in the six affected States will be seasonal with variable cloudiness,

possible scattered showers or a few afternoon thunderstorms. Daytime high temperatures will range from the mid to upper 70s in the higher elevations to the upper 80s and lower 90s in the lower elevations and coastal areas. Evening low temperatures will generally be ten to fifteen degrees cooler.


A. Jurisdictions Affected

The Insurance Information Institute estimates a total of $625 million dollars for personal property damage principally in the areas of Cape Fear, Kure Beach and the City of Wilmington. The FAsT has reported that a combination of high winds and storm surge destroyed North Topsail Beach in Onslow County, NC.

B. Impact on Individuals

C. Impact on Businesses

D. Utilities
(1) Water Treatment Plants
A major break occurred in a water main of the Little Rivere (SC) Water System. No water is being supplied, and a boiled water order is in effect.

The situation is not considered serious.

(2) Electric Power Generation
Initially over 2,000,000 customers in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina were without electricity. The utilities had prepared well for the storm, providing citizens useful information on how to prepare and what the hazards would be after the storm. The utilities publicized the 800 numbers for reporting power outages and downed power lines. Prior to the storm, the utilities had contacted other power companies as far away as Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky.

The Brunswick nuclear power plant near Wilmington, North Carolina, shut down before landfall, suffered a direct hit by the hurricane but sustained minimal damage. The facility cannot resume normal operations until potential evacuation routes are cleared.

The GE Nuclear Facility in Wilmington, NC, suffered minor structural damage.

Eighteen of 28 rural cooperatives have reported major damage to power systems.

(3) Gas Pipelines
Dixie Pipeline Company, a liquefied propane gas operator in North Carolina, shut down its system on September 5, 1996. The firm has been without electricity to cool the gas in the pipeline. The firm is flaring 28,000 gallons a day at its terminal at Apex. Without cooling, propane expands and creates hazardous conditions for the pipeline.

Normal operations were scheduled to resume Friday afternoon.

Some pipeline operators have reported that some of the gas distribution lines have failed because of washouts from the flooding or from uprooted trees.

(4) Telephone and Telecommunications

(5) Sewage Treatment Plants

E. Road/Transportation Status
(1) Airports
Federal Aviation Administration personnel continue to assess damage, but initial reports indicate minimal impact.

All commercial airports in the affected States have reopened.

(2) Railways
CSXT lines are shut down between Richmond, Virginia and Florence, South Carolina. In addition, CSXT, Norfolk Southern (NS) and short lines are also assessing damage but communications are difficult. NS reports that signals are out from Roanoke, Virginia to Norfolk, Virginia.

The US Coast Guard reports that the NS rail bridge over the Trent River at New Bern, NC, is damaged. However, this is a secondary NS track.

Amtrak service from Washington, DC, south over CSXT and NS lines remains suspended. This affects rail service between New York and Florida.

Horry County RR and Carolina Southern Rail Short Lines in Wilmington, NC, appear to be severely damaged by washouts.

(3) Interstate Highways
North Carolina reports I-40 is closed at Wilmington and trees partially block it near the Pender County line. I-85 is closed at mile markers 191 and 217.

(4) Bridges
The NS railroad bridge on the Trent River is damaged.

(5) Other
The Ports of Charleston and Georgetown were scheduled to reopen on September 6.

F. Housing Status

G. Other Critical Facilities

On September 6, 1996 President Bill Clinton authorized Federal Disaster Assistance under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, P.L. 93-288 as amended (Stafford Act) for ten counties in the State of North Carolina. The counties are Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Cumberland, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Robeson and Sampson. The Federal disaster number is FEMA-1134-DR. Governor Hunt had requested this Disaster Declaration on September 5, 1996. The incident period is from September 5, 1996 and continuing.

On September 6, 1996 President Clinton also authorized Federal Disaster Assistance under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, P.L. 93-288 as amended (Stafford Act) for the State of Virginia. The Federal disaster number is FEMA-1135-DR. Governor Allen had requested this Disaster Declaration on September 5, 1996. The incident period is from September 5, 1996 and continuing. The following Federal relief assistance is available.

Direct Federal Assistance - For the first 72 hours following this declaration, FEMA has authority to provide 100% Federal funding for eligible costs for the Counties of Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Cumberland, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Robeson, and Sampson. After further evaluation, the declaration may extend to other counties.

Individual Assistance - Via amendment to FEMA-1134-DR (September 6, 1996), all Individual Assistance Programs are available to the Counties named above as Federal disaster areas.

Public Assistance - Public Assistance is available to the State and local governments for the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged by Hurricane Fran. North Carolina has not yet identified public facility damage.

Hazard Mitigation Assistance - Hazard Mitigation Assistance is available to State and local governments for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from future natural or technological hazards.

The National Processing Service Center in Denton, TX, will process applications from North Carolina. The National Processing Service Center at Mount Weather will process applications from South Carolina.

The number for both centers is 1-800-462-9029.

On September 6, 1996, FEMA Director James Lee Witt traveled to Myrtle Beach, SC, to look at the damage and talk with disaster victims and local officials about response and recovery needs. Director Witt also met with South Carolina Governor Beasley and U.S. Senators Thurmond and Hollings.

Director Witt then went to Wilmington, North Carolina where he met with Governor Hunt and State Division of Emergency Management Director Billy Ray Cameron to visit the damaged areas. Accompanying Director Witt were Mortimer L. Downey, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation; Robert M. Walker, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Logistics and Environment; Major General Stanley Jenega, Director of Civil Works, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Martin Lancaster, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works; and Bernard Kulik, Associate Administrator, Office of Disaster Assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration.

Director Witt, accompanied by Virginia Senator Robb and Congressman Payne, will visit the hard-hit Danville-South Boston, Virginia, area today (Saturday) to assess the extent of the damage resulting from Hurricane FRAN. The delegation is due to leave the Washington area shortly before noon, stop at Langley Air Force Base and Charlottesville, and arrive in the Danville area in early afternoon.

The group will tour the Danville area via ground transport then fly to South Boston and visit that area via ground transport.

The group is scheduled to return to the Washington area later in the evening.

Assisting the States with damage assessment, debris clearance and the restoration of power is FEMA's top priority following Hurricane FRAN's destructive path through the middle Atlantic States.

On September 6 the Eastern Field Assessment Team (FAsT) A, led by Jeanne Gallagher, began conducting a damage assessment in Horry County, SC. A State Assessment Team (SAT) helped with this assessment. A preliminary report issued at 4:00 p.m., September 6, stated there were 'no significant damages in South Carolina.'

The Eastern FAsT B, based in Raleigh, NC, is working with North Carolina's State Prepared Emergency Evaluation Deployment (SPEED) Team to assess damages in New Haven, Pender and Onslow Counties via aerial overflights. Assessment of additional Counties is planned for early September 7.

Each of the North Carolina teams has a FEMA field assessment liaison who will accompany the teams during their assessment activities.

An Interim Disaster Field Office has been set up at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, in the Jane S. McKimmon Building. The Operations Section will remain at the State EOC. All other staff will move to the NC State University location on September 7.

In spite of heavy rains, dense fog and high winds, Mount Weather remains open and fully functional.




1) Defense Coordinating Element
Fr. Bragg, Fayetteville, NC, is the principal Mobilization Center for receiving and distributing disaster relief resources. Fort Jackson, Columbia, SC, will serve as the interim staging area.

The DoD Emergency Operations Center at Forces Command, Ft. McPherson, GA, and Hqs, First United States Army, Ft. Gillem, GA, remain operational on a 24-hour a day basis.

2) Mobile Emergency Response System
The counties of Horry, Marion and Williamsburg have been surveyed from the air with reports to be provided to the State of South Carolina, the FEMA Regional Operations Center (ROC) in Atlanta, GA, and the Emergency Support Team (EST) in Washington, DC.

3) Operations Support Branch
a. ESF #1 (Transportation)
Federal Aviation Administration Crisis Response Working groups have been activated. FAA personnel continue to make damage assessments but initial reports indicate minimal damage.

The Region IV Federal Highway Administration, Office of Motor Carriers, has declared a regional emergency and exempted motor carriers providing direct assistance to hurricane victims relief from certain safety regulations.

The Federal Highway Administration reports a $60 million unfunded backlog of Emergency Relief funding requests from previous disasters. As a result no funds will be available for damage from Hurricane FRAN.

b. ESF #2 (Communications)
BellSouth reports all Central Office switches (COs) in North and South Carolina operational with 64 COs on emergency power. An additional 512 generators are enroute to North Carolina from Atlanta, GA, Columbia, SC, and Jacksonville, FL. BellSouth has deployed an additional 200 technicians to NC.

c. ESF #7 (Resource Support)

4) Infrastructure Support Branch
The Infrastructure Support Branch continues to monitor all activities of its three groups. A Mission Assignment (MA) was prepared and processed by the Emergency Support Team (EST) for ESF-3 for debris clearance in North Carolina. A new Mission Assignment---"Prime Power Team"--- is being prepared for ESF #3 to install, operate and maintain generators at locations requested by the State Coordinating Officer (SCO) and approved by the Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO). A 16-person platoon based in North Carolina is being considered for the initial tasking for this. It will be determined on Saturday morning if this assignment will be processed in the EST, ROC, or DFO.
a. Activities in FEMA Region IV.
1) The State of South Carolina is not requesting a Primary Damage Assessment (PDA) for Public Assistance. It is anticipated that the three FEMA Region IV PDA teams which were predeployed to South Carolina will be released to go to North Carolina.

2) The initial eight FEMA Region IV PDA teams will begin PDAs in North Carolina on Saturday. Additional teams will join in this effort as the State identifies the specific counties to be surveyed.
b. Activities in FEMA Region III .

1) The State of Maryland has requested PDAs in four counties. Two FEMA Region III PDA teams begin preliminary damage assessment activities in southern Maryland (Calvert and St. Mary's County) on Saturday. The other counties identified for PDAs are in western Maryland. It is anticipated that the PDA will grow as Maryland identifies additional counties.

2) The PDA in Virginia may begin on Monday, but the flooding incident is continuing and PDAs are more accurately performed after the flooding subsides. Flooding is expected to continue next week making PDAs difficult since heavy rainfall continues in the upper drainage areas of Virginia's streams and rivers.

3) Existing DFO staff in West Virginia and Pennsylvania are expected to handle PDA requests in those States as required.

a. ESF #3 (Public Works & Engineering)

Close to 200 generators are being moved from Jacksonville, FL and Ft. Jackson, SC, to Fr. Bragg, NC. Also, 25,000 liters of water were moved to Ft. Jackson, SC.

b. ESF #12 (Energy)

The Department of Energy deployed staff to the FEMA Regional Operations Center in Atlanta and to the North Carolina EOC as well as to the Disaster Field Office.

c. Public Assistance

5) Human Services Branch

a. ESF #6 (Mass Care)

b. ESF #11 (Food)

A Red Cross representative at FEMA Headquarters reported that 79 shelters in South Carolina and 126 shelters in North Carolina were in operation, sheltering about 25,000 persons. Staff served a total of 15,738 meals.

c. Voluntary Organizations

In North Carolina, plans are underway to establish an ARC Operations Headquarters at the Teamsters' Union Hall, Colfax, NC.

d. Donations

Persons seeking any information about donations, including offers for volunteer service, should call 1-888-786-7601.

The Red Cross is ready to receive immediate referrals of in-kind or cash donations. The number for in-kind donations is 1-800-7 IN-KIND. The number for cash donations is 1-800-HELP-NOW.

In addition, the Adventist Community Service will accept donations. Its number is 1-800-253-3000.

e. Individual Assistance

6) Emergency Services Branch

a. ESF #4 (Firefighting)

b. ESF #8 (Health & Medical)

Public health officials in North Carolina are distributing advisories covering food safety, water, sanitation and general health and safety to the general public in the affected counties.

The State has established a "special needs" shelter at Craven Regional Medical Center.

The ESF #8 component of the South Carolina ERT-A Team will depart after mid-day on September 7 unless the assessment team identify health and medical needs. The component will move to Raleigh to assist in establishing the Disaster Field Office.

The 25 person Medical / Management Support Unit (MSU) at the VA Medical Center, Fayetteville, NC is fully operational. The PHS-1 and NC-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) arrived on September 6 and are staging at the VA Medical Center along with the MSU. Fort Bragg will offer these individuals billeting. The FL-1 DMAT is still enroute to Fayetteville.

Results from preliminary medical assessments will not be available until September 7. The FAsT teams, each including a medical specialist, have not completed their missions.

There have been no requests for Federal health and medical assistance from either North or South Carolina at this time. Preliminary information would seem to indicate that no other DMATs are needed. A decision to retain the remaining eight DMATs on alert will be made on September 7.

c. ESF #9 (Urban Search & Rescue)

d. ESF #10 (Hazardous Materials)

ESF #10 is mobilizing three EPA field assessment teams and a Mobile Command Post to Fayetteville, NC

There are no reports of significant hazardous materials releases or oil spills resulting from the hurricane. ESF #10 will begin a survey of North Carolina hazardous materials and oil facilities on September 7.


The Mitigation Team met with the Region VI Mitigation Team and decided to move to Raleigh, NC, on September 7 at which time it will report to the Disaster Field Office.

Communities not participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which have had flood hazards identified are not eligible for having Hazard Mitigation Grant Projects in their jurisdictions.

NFIP participating communities must assure that substantially damaged structures (where the value of the damage is greater than half its market value) be elevated above the base flood level for residential structures, or be certified as floodproof for nonresidential structures. This is to comply with their local flood damage prevention ordinance. Technical assistance and support to local communities is provided by FEMA via damage assessment surveys, various information from field teams, and information provided back through the Federal Insurance Administration from adjusters.

Mitigation activities for this operational period include the


  • Identified communities in Pennsylvania that are not part of the NFIP.
  • Established that the FEMA Map Service Center will be shipping maps over the weekend. Phone numbers for ordering the maps are 1-800-358-9618 Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. or 410-471-4020 on Saturday or Sunday.
The FEMA Region III Mitigation Team is on alert for possible deployment to Virginia or other Region III States.

Region IV ordered 2 GIS teams for data acquisition of building damages and the evaluation of subsequent code compliance.

The Mitigation Office, the Flood Insurance Administration and private adjusters' associations are cost-sharing a study of the coastal surge inundation limits in the coastal impacted areas.