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Michael Nelson floats in a boat made from a metal tub and fishing floats after the Neuse River went over its banks and started to flood his street in New Bern, N.C. Thursday. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
More than 100 people are waiting to be rescued from homes and vehicles Thursday morning in New Bern, N.C. after Hurricane Florence brought severe flooding to the area. Officials say more than 100 people have already been rescued in the area overnight.
There are five swift water rescue teams working in New Bern, assisted by the Cajun Navy volunteer rescue group, says Gene Hodges, assistant county manager with Craven County government, tells NPR’s Brakkton Booker.
“We’re working as hard as we can,” Hodges says. Rescuers are methodically working neighborhoods, some with with multiple calls.
Craven County Emergency Services has reported impassible roads due to flooding, downed power lines, trees on cars.
New Bern, a city of about 30,000 residents, has been under a mandatory evacuation order since Tuesday.
Update: Pics of flooding downtown while looking for citizens who may need assistance. @CityofNewBern #HurricaneFlorence2018 pic.twitter.com/Ebgfh1hlt5
— New Bern PD (@NewBernPD) September 14, 2018
Sarah Risty-Davis, who was born and raised in New Bern, told NPR’s Morning Edition that she saw high flood waters until the early morning but that the water has mostly receded in her neighborhood. She plans to continue to ride out the storm. If the water starts to rise again, she says, she’ll head upstairs and wait for it to recede again.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says so far there have been no fatalities in the state:
Also from Cooper: So far no storm related fatalities … “We have learned a lot from previous storms that have hit NC. The planning and strategy in place is helping us right now. I know long-term recovery is an arduous process, with lots of bureaucracy and red tape.” #florenceNC
— Jeff Tiberii (@j_tibs) September 14, 2018
Gov. Cooper told Morning Edition that he expects flooding could get worse as more rain falls and that the state’s No. 1 mission right now is “working very hard to save lives.”
Officials are advising people who are stranded to move up to their attics or other high ground if possible.
Currently ~150 awaiting rescue in New Bern. We have 2 out-of-state FEMA teams here for swift water rescue. 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
— City of New Bern (@CityofNewBern) September 14, 2018
Craven County Public Information Officer Amber Parker says the storm surge has caused flooding in some downtown New Bern businesses and Union Park is underwater.
Water also rushed into the county’s emergency operations center, she says. “We have an old jail building and there was a sally-port where vehicles could drive down into it and it’s basically a big hole and water did go into that hole but we are safe in this facility.”
The are is also experiencing some power outages. “You never know where there are active downed powerlines that could cause an electric situation,” Parker says. “We just want people to be very careful.”
Parker says water levels in some areas of Craven County are already higher than Hurricane Irene.
Hodges says he believes the rescue operation will be “going on for quite a while.”
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sources: Business news from npr.org