'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.
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.
Priority right now is remaining 100 rescues. Then remaining power restorations. Winds are down to 19mph...great opportunity for our crews to get out and continue this important work.— City of New Bern (@CityofNewBern) September 15, 2018
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.
First boats in the water. America's Cajun Navy has launched into the good night with @CityofNewBern FD.— CrowdSource Rescue (@cs_rescue) September 14, 2018
Anybody who says civilian responders and spontaneous volunteers are a danger - point to tonight. Point to Harvey.
Volunteers 👏save 👏lives 👏 when 👏we 👏work👏 together. pic.twitter.com/5ocSafbV4s
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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