After spending three hours walking all over Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and taking a ride to the outskirts on one of the only bus services running, I found that almost everywhere was closed. However, I did discover that the bus driver lived in Britain when he was a child. And he dropped me back off in Franklin Street with a few recommendations on what might be open. I then spent an hour in a queue at a sandwich shop (one of only four shops open in the town. Even McDonald's was closed), managed to get back to my room without being crushed by falling trees, and ate the sandwich. Then I remembered (too late, of course) that Americans enjoy putting half a jar of mayonnaise on anything related to bread. So I spent most of the afternoon feeling extremely unwell.
A suggestion to my fine American friends - pylons. Big hulking metal structures that laugh in the face of falling trees. A step up from short wooden poles that are, quite frankly, just asking for a tree to come crashing down on top of them.