4,325 homes, 300 businesses damaged in New Bern by Florence

Early assessments show at least 4,325 homes have been damaged in the storm, and 300 businesses.

“This is very preliminary…we’ll know once evacuated residents and business owners return to New Bern and have a chance to survey damages and begin the clean up/clean out process.”

“We have 75 reports of trees down or debris blocking roadways.  Public Works is prioritizing this list since those blockages are preventing our emergency response and power restoration crews from getting where they need to go.  15 crews are currently out on the roads doing ‘push and shove’ to remove that debris.”
“We’ve done a preliminary inspection of city buildings.  For the most part they survived the storm well.  The worst damage has been to the Union Point Park restrooms and an old stormwater building out off of Rhem/2nd Avenue.  The roof was ripped off the building.

“We’re working to address the boats that are sitting in the middle of N. Craven Street.  We’re also reaching out to Norfolk Southern to alert them to railroad tracks that have washed away at E. Rose and Biddle streets near our stormwater pumps.  The tracks will have to be replaced before service to New Bern can resume.”

“We’ve been able to restore about 7,000 power customers.  Our electric department is slowly reactivating feeder lines that went down during the storm.  They’re starting with the feeder lines that were the least damaged.  Unfortunately, with weather conditions as they are, we expect power outages to increase again before the storm fully passes.
Winds are forecast to drop over the next 24 hours from 40mph to around 23 mph.  This will be good news for our many crews out in the storm.  But the forecast isn’t expected to change significantly until Sunday.

“That means we still have a lot of rain, flooding, and wind ahead of us.”

Forty rescues remain from earlier report of 150 needed rescues, according to a city statement.

“But, they are stacking up again as winds, rain, and floodwaters pick up again.  There are about 100 new rescue calls stacked up for crews to strategically respond to.  We’re getting a lot of calls requesting a welfare check: friends who are concerned about residents and haven’t heard from them.  If a neighbor or church member of that person can try contacting them, that would free up our police department and rescue crews from unspecific 911 calls.”

Tip

  • Turn around, don’t drown! The FEMA saying is definitely true here.  Do not go out sightseeing.  New Bern roads are a mess.  Floodwaters and the forecast continues to fluctuate and it’s still too dangerous to be out on the roadways.  Additionally, there is a 24 hour curfew in effect in New Bern.  Residents should stay inside until further notice.  Violating a curfew order is a Class 2 misdemeanor.
September 14th, 2018 by
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