“WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU” is the message on the Facebook page for the riverfront city of New Bern, North Carolina, early Friday morning as Hurricane Florence made landfall. At least 150 residents who decided to stay put during Florence are now pleading for emergency responders to rescue them as they flee to their attics, upper floors, and even roofs of their homes.
New Bern, located along the tidal Neuse River that's part of the Atlantic coast, quickly lost power once Florence hit land in the the state early Friday as a Category 1 storm. Swaths of the city of about 30,000 residents are now underwater. A mandatory evacuation order was released for Craven County on Tuesday, according to the Herald Sun. The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division had reported a 10-foot high storm surge — a story-high wall of water — at one ferry terminal in the county, the paper reported. Residents are now making pleas for assistance on the city’s Facebook page after days of dire warnings from state and federal officials over the catastrophe Hurricane Florence was expected to drag to the Carolinas shore.
“Currently ~150 awaiting rescue in New Bern. We have 2 out-of-state FEMA teams here for swift water rescue,” the city of New Bern said on Twitter. “More are on the way to help us. WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU. You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU. #FlorenceNC”
Hurricane Florence made landfall on the North Carolina shores Friday morning with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph. It’s likely to sluggishly move further inland across southeastern North Carolina and eastern South Carolina before it potentially tilts upward and tracks along the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains, according to the National Hurricane Center’s most recent advisory at 8 a.m.
The biggest concern, officials say, is the massive freshwater flooding and dangerous storm surge the hurricane could bring. Nearly 500,000 people are without power so far, according to North Carolina’s Department of Public Safety. That number could rocket to millions of people once the storm sweeps South Carolina. And a FEMA official on Wednesday said the power could be out in some areas for several weeks.
Cover: Flooding is seen nearly 16 hours before the landfall of Hurricane Florence, as early storm surges caused the Neuse River to rise above its' banks in New Bern, NC, September 13, 2018. (Photo by Michael Candelori/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)