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'Catastrophic' storm surge from Florence prompts hundreds of water rescues in New Bern, North Carolina

By Ashley Williams, AccuWeather staff writer
September 15, 2018, 8:54:24 AM EDT

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Florence’s life-threatening storm surge left nearly 400 residents stranded in New Bern, North Carolina, as the storm pummeled the coastal city as a Category 1 hurricane on Friday.

Emergency responders have reported an influx of calls from residents pleading to be rescued from the rapidly rising floodwaters.

Cajun Navy rescues residents in New Bern, North Carolina - 9/14/2018

The Cajun Navy rescues stranded residents in New Bern, North Carolina, as storm surge waters inundate the coastal city. (Twitter photo/ David Rankin @Rankinstudio)


The City of New Bern’s Twitter account stated Friday morning that two teams with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were en route to North Carolina to assist with water rescues.

Stranded residents are being urged to seek higher ground immediately as they await rescue.

New Bern’s Public Information Officer, Colleen Roberts, told the Associated Press that over 360 rescues had already been made by midday Friday.

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The Cajun Navy has assisted local authorities in New Bern with water rescues, having reportedly received 500 calls for help with rescues in the New Bern area.


The New Bern Twitter account has also been updating followers with pictures of street conditions and photos of flooding. They have declared the drinking water to be safe for consumption.

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