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Local

Facebook Page Gives Irene Updates, Draws Nearly 14,000 Members

By Michelle Bliss

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/whqr/local-whqr-984007.mp3

Wilmington, NC – Nearly 14,000 people joined a Facebook event site for storm updates from every nook and cranny of southeastern North Carolina during Hurricane Irene. WHQR's Michelle Bliss reports that a Wilmington resident's Hurricane Communication Circle gave insight into flash floods, heavy winds, and power outages across the region for residents and their relatives.

Several regional media outlets found the webpage handy and directed their listeners and viewers to check out if out for immediate, local updates.

Wilmington resident and bartender Dustin Overcash started the site when he decided to stay home instead of evacuate.

"You get enough people just looking out their window telling people what they see where power's off and what kind of emergency issues are going on; then we can all stay connected."

Along with locals, many members joined from out-of-state.

"A lot of people ended up coming on that weren't from Wilmington but had relatives in Wilmington that were able to update and keep track of what was going on in case communications were killed."

As the site's membership started growing by the thousands, Overcash enlisted six other moderators to monitor discussions.

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