Hurricane Florence

Vince Winkel

The death toll in North Carolina from Hurricane Florence currently stands at 39. In New Hanover County, an 85-year old man died from an infected cut after cleaning storm debris. Much of the storm-related pollution, and risk for infection, is in the water.

Vince Winkel

It’s been almost three weeks since Hurricane Florence slammed into the Cape Fear region. And during these last few weeks, thousands of residents and small business owners have been trying to put their lives back together. They have had some help. Such as the Disaster Recovery Center at Independence Mall.

Vince Winkel

U.S. Geological Survey crews are in the field around Wilmington, gathering information to document the depth and extent of flooding brought by Hurricane Florence’s rains and storm surge. 

Vince Winkel

New Hanover County will open a Community Recovery Resource Center on Friday, Sept. 28 at Independence Mall to assist residents of New Hanover County and surrounding areas as they recover from Hurricane Florence.

Vince Winkel

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is opening a Disaster Recovery Center in Wilmington.  UPDATE: The center will open Sept. 28, at Independence Mall.      

The University of North Carolina Wilmington will stay closed to students another week, with classes not resuming until Oct. 8.

University officials announced the change Wednesday, a day after campus leaders had said they planned to restart classes Oct. 1. 

As early as Friday, residents in 27 counties impacted by Hurricane   Florence can apply for help buying food through the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or “D-SNAP”, Governor Roy Cooper announced Wednesday. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services received federal authority to implement the program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Vince Winkel

This week the flood waters from Hurricane Florence should begin receding. Those waters contain more waste today than they did two weeks ago. Some of that waste could create environmental problems.

Vince Winkel

The sound of generators and sirens is being replaced by the sound of chainsaws in the cape fear region. Local businesses are starting to distribute relief supplies to local residents. As WHQR's Vince Winkel reports, a variety of local establishments are playing a role.  

Jeff Hunter

About half of WHQR’s staff left Wilmington to avoid Hurricane Florence. Jeff Hunter was the first of the staff to return -- and it wasn’t an easy journey. Jeff told WHQR’s Gina Gambony about the slow road home.

RLH

Points of Distribution around New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender Counties are providing food, water, and tarps to people in need.  Armies of volunteers, law enforcement agencies, and military groups are working together to keep the lines moving.  But one neighborhood in Wilmington has launched its own rescue effort.

Temple B'Nai Israel on Chestnut Street had some trees down and roof damage that affected the sanctuary.
David Boraks / WHQR

Wednesday is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and one of the holiest days in the Jewish calendar. But Hurricane Florence has forced synagogues in Wilmington to cancel services. The sanctuaries at Both Temple of Israel and B'nai Israel were damaged in the storm.

Vince Winkel

Finding food can be a challenge during the days after a hurricane.  Starting today, a national organization has set up camp in Wilmington, to feed the community. They will be preparing tens of thousands of meals. WHQR’s Vince Winkel reports. 

Vince Winkel

Food and water is being flown into the Cape Fear region. Slowly more stores and gas stations are opening. Food trucks are also out and about, cooking what they have, and tring to make a dent in the need for food. 

Vince Winkel

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo gives an update on roads, power and cleanup efforts on Tuesday afternoon while exploring the downtown area. 

Roy Cooper talks with out-of-state emergency workers at a temporary dormitory in Independence Mall Tuesday.
David Boraks / WHQR

Gov. Roy Cooper and FEMA chief Brock Long visited Wilmington Tuesday to view storm damage and meet out-of-state emergency workers camped at Independence Mall.

Food Distribution Begins In An Isolated Wilmington

Sep 18, 2018
A long line of cars waited for an emergency food distribution to begin Tuesday near the downtown campus of Cape Fear Community College.
David Boraks / WHQR

Power is still out and most stores are still closed in parts of southeastern North Carolina hardest hit by Hurricane Florence. Emergency food distributions have begun in several counties, including New Hanover.

Wilmington Police Department

Businesses are slowly and carefully starting to open.  At Costco in Wilmington, which opened for just a few hours yesterday, shoppers went in 200 at a time.  A few grocery stores and some restaurants opened their doors around Leland and Wilmington.  

Gourmet Market on Front Street stayed open over the weekend with the help of candles and flashlights. "It's survival," said owner Sam Joseph.
David Boraks / WHQR

Wilmington residents are emerging from homes and shelters after riding out Hurricane Florence.  Power was still out on Front Street Sunday afternoon, but a few businesses were open for those who ventured out, providing food and supplies or a beer among friends.

RLH

Flooding will affect the Cape Fear region at least through this week, but the rainfall will be the least of it.

First, the good news:  the Cape Fear region has seen the majority of the rain from Florence. 

Vince Winkel

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo speaks with WHQR late Sunday afternoon as he explores downtown Wilmington to speak with residents and business owners. 

RLH

Governor Roy Cooper is re-routing interstate traffic around North Carolina.  Floodwaters are rising, and roads that have never flooded before are now at risk.  The death toll from Florence has reached 14, and the coastal city of Wilmington is essentially cut off from the rest of the state.

RLH

Stay off the roads.  They are not safe, and they are getting worse.  That’s the urgent travel alert from North Carolina officials and those in the Cape Fear region.  

Vince Winkel

The temptation to venture out and drive around is going to be strong today.  But officials say the risk of injury or death is rising.

Vince Winkel

Tropical Storm Florence is still impacting the Cape Fear region – and is likely to continue through tonight. 

Now officials turn their attention to the risk of flooding, flash flooding, and tornadoes. 

Florence is battering the North Carolina coast – flooding beach town roads from the Outer Banks to Carolina Beach.  Officials expect the shellacking to last through Friday and into Saturday.

National Hurricane Center / NOAA

The long, slow, slog is underway.  As 500-mile-wide Florence moves further into North Carolina, she’s bringing storm surge, winds, flooded roads and downed power lines.  

Lumber River Conservancy

Meteorologist Steven Pfaff from the National Weather Service provides a late morning update on Hurricane Florence. He says the category of the storm is nearly inconsequential--when the ground is saturated, the wind can be destructive at lower speeds.

The ed17 / Wikimedia Creative Commons

The first effects of Hurricane Florence are nearly hitting the North Carolina coast.  While coastal stakeholders are concerned about storm surge, farmers are also looking at losses.

National Hurricane Center / NOAA

Hurricane Florence is nearly upon coastal North Carolina.  While the system lost some strength Wednesday, Florence is still a life-threatening, historic storm.

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