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Smithfield, Selma declare states of emergency

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SMITHFIELD-Smithfield and Selma are among Johnston County towns that declared sta tes of emerency in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. Others are taking a wait-and-see approach.

Smithfield Mayor Andy Moore signed a declaration of a state of emergency in Smithfield. 

As of 8 a.m. Thursday, Hurricane Dorian was about 166 miles SSW of Wilmington with 115 mph winds. Winds in Smithfield  are expected to be between 40-60 mph with the potential of 4-6 inches of rain.

"This is a proactive administrative measure needed in case the town were to seek state and/or federal government reimbursements for any storm related expenses," said Moore. "Please note that, at this time, there are no restrictions within the Town of Smithfield. We will continue to monitor the conditions and communicate out as quickly as possible. Hopefully, Dorian will be a non-event for our community."

Selma declared a state of emergency Thursday. The town hall is scheduled to operate Thursday from  8 a.m. to 5 p.m. but the hours of operation may vary due to inclement weather. Updates will be posted on social media and the town's website. 

The town of Wilson's Mills declared its state of emergency on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Town Administrator and Municipal Clerk Leighanna Worley said a blackboard connect message will be sent to all registered users Thursday night with further information regarding emergency information within Johnston County and in Wilson's Mills.

The town hall offices are open Thursday, Sept. 5.

"Decisions regarding Friday's hours will follow dependent upon the severity of the storms Thursday evening," said Worley. "The Wilson's Mills Police Department will have an officer on duty 24 hours and will be available to assist however needed."

The town of Pine Level also declared a state of emergency on Thursday.

The town of Clayton declared a state of emergency at 12 p.m. Thursday.

"We join Johnston County and the state," said spokeswoman Stacy Beard. "The NWS weather briefing we just listened in on said any damaging winds would occur after midnight tonight and through the early morning."

Beard said the town is standing up its Emergency Operations Center at the Clayton Fire Department Station 1 Thursday at 5 p.m.  that where representativs from its police, fire, electric,  and utilities departments will gather to dispatch crews and share information.

"We are going to close all Town of Clayton facilities including our library and Clayton Community Center at 5 p.m.," said Beard. We'll reopen at 10 a.m. tomorrow."

Other towns yet to declare are: Kenly, Micro and Princeton.

The purpose of declaring a state of emergency is to apply for federal and state funds to reimburse communities for any Dorian-related expenses.