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When would ABC stores close in the event of a hurricane?

Si Cantwell
StarNews
ABC store

The governor can close ABC stores in the event of an emergency. (StarNews file photo)

Probably when conditions become dangerous for store employees.

When the governor issues a state of emergency, the governor can close all ABC stores and order all sales of alcoholic beverages to stop. That includes beer and wine as well as liquor sales.

But Agnes Stevens, public affairs director of the N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, said that hasn’t happened in the past 20 years.

And it didn’t happen Aug. 25, 2011, when Gov. Beverly Perdue ordered a state of emergency for 39 eastern counties including Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender as Hurricane Irene approached.

Individual ABC boards can set their own hours, as long as they’re not open longer hours than set by state law.

Dan Sykes, CEO of the New Hanover County ABC Board, said the county’s liquor stores would close whenever it appears dangerous for employees. The same would apply to a snowstorm, he said.

Felicia Walker, general manager of the Brunswick County ABC Board, said she would be guided by similar concerns. The Brunswick County ABC Board, one of nine in the county, operates two stores, in Holden Beach and in Acme-Delco.

“If it got really bad, we would definitely close,” she said. “Not just for the safety of the public, but for the safety of my employees.”

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