Local News

Early Reports Indicate Southern Coastal Damage Lighter Than Expected

Posted August 26, 1998

— Before, during and after the storm, WRAL reporters will share the latest information from various points along the North Carolina Coast.

  • Atlantic Beach ReportwithDavid Crabtree
  • Dare County ReportwithMark Roberts
  • Wilmington ReportwithAmanda Lamb
  • Topsail Islandwith residentMichael Young
  • Phone Interviews and Reportsfrom other areas.

    WRAL will also speak to those people who are helping manage the storm, as well as residents and vacationers who, perhaps, rode the storm out. If you have your own storm stories, tell them to us by calling our toll free number:1-800-722-9725. Leave a brief message and we will post selected messages on our web site.

    WRAL's storm team will also file exclusive audio reports. To listen, you will need theRealPlayer.

    Manteo, Dare CountyReporter: Mark RobertsLast report: 12:00 p.m. EST Thurs.

    Amanda reports that there does not appear to be major structural damage in Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach as there was after Hurricane Fran. "It's really calmed down here," Amanda says, comparing Thursday morning's conditions to Wednesday's pounding rains and heavy winds.

    There are still about 89,000 CP&L customers without power in New Hanover County, and some roads are impassable.

    Atlantic Beach and Morehead City, Carteret CountyReporters: David Crabtree and Elizabeth GardnerLast report: 12:00 p.m. EDT Thurs.

    Around the noon hour, David said the wind gusts had lightened up in Morehead City. The rain was still coming down, even though the area was in the tail of the storm. Elizabeth explained that it's neither normal or abnormal for rain to be so heavy after the eye has passed, because hurricanes are so unpredictable. In downtown Morehead, a few store fronts had been smashed and a few roofs had been blown off. Beaufort was still taking a hard hit from Bonnie.

    David said earlier that there is still no power in Morehead City and Atlantic Beach, but both have water. Pine Knoll Shores is without both utilities. Quick Damage Report From Carteret CountyEmergency management officers in the area say that a 150 foot section of the Iron Steamer pier has been ripped away. The Indian Beach pier has also sustained some heavy damage. There are also numerous power outages and downed trees.

    Topsail IslandMichael Young, residentLast report: 7:30 a.m. EDT Thurs.

    "It doesn't look too bad," Young told Bill Leslie by telephone.

    "The dunes held very well," he added. "Nothing more than shingles [down] and downed phone lines. Power lines look very good. They are all erect, and I didn't see any power lines down."

    Young reports no major flooding problems as there was after Fran.

    Other Interviews Bob Rhyne, Long Beach ResidentDuring 12:15 p.m. interview Thursday

    Bob says that he stayed at Long Beach during the storm, much to his mother in Raleigh's chagrin. However, his area fared pretty well. He says the bridge over to the beach opened Thursday morning. Some of his friends in Caswell Beach didn't have as much luck. Bob heard that many roofs were blown off in that area. Governor Jim HuntStatement on Wednesday afternoon

    Governor Jim Hunt told the public about major damage in Brunswick County Wednesday, as he planned to ask for federal emergency aid for North Carolina. Thursday, Governor Hunt spoke to Jane Robelot of CBS This Morning about the damage. Hunt explained that roads in Brunswick County are under water, and patients at a local hospital had to be moved when the roof blew off during the early movement of the storm. Chris Wintz, Emerald Isle resident, Carteret CountyIn a Wednesday night phone interview (9:45 p.m.)

    The intensity in Chris Wintz's voice over a boat phone is enough to show just how dangerous Hurricane Bonnie is, at least until his phone was cut off. Wintz explained how the storm has taken away half of his house and how the "serges keep coming and coming." He says it's insane and that the storm has pounded away at Emerald Isle for hours. Diane Snow, Shallotte Inlet resident, Pender CountyIn a Wednesday night phone interview (9:25 p.m.)

    Diane Snow says they she has been getting rain and wind all day long without a break. She explained how a refrigerator was blown off of her porch and says that water is seeping in under her door. Snow says that she is not able to stick her head out her door, and the only people she has seen in the area have been emergency crews. The Shallotte Inlet says she doesn't know how much damage has been done, but she has seen signs and debris blowing by her windows. Snow says she wants all her family and friends to know that she is okay. Capt. Mike Brown, Morehead InletIn a Wednesday night phone interview:

    Mike Brown has a different perspective of Hurricane Bonnie. He is weathering the storm in his boat. Brown discusses how he uses 200,000 lbs. anchors and ship positioning to keep the boat from being thrown around too much. Brown also says that most people, unlike him, got their boats out of the water and left. He thinks that Hurricane Fran had a lot of influence on people's decision to leave. Becky Linker, Topsail Island resident, Pender CountyIn a Wednesday night phone interview:

    Linker says they have 60 mph winds from the Northeast at Topsail Island. She also explains that the sound side has breached the sea wall. Linker says that Topsail Island has had 18-25 foot seas on the ocean, but she has not seen much damage except for some small debris flying around. Linker says that sustained winds Wednesday reached 90-100 mph with gusts up to 118 mph. She also hopes that people will not go outside even if they believe they are in the eye of the hurricane, although she believes that most people have left the area.

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