Along the Pamlico Sound, clean-up begins

Posted August 28, 2011
Updated August 29, 2011

— Clean-up was the emphasis Sunday afternoon west of the Pamlico Sound after Hurricane Irene hit with a storm surge of up to 7 feet. 

Boats and private docks along the Neuse River in New Bern were ripped away.  The river receded on Sunday, but dirt, debris and water damage were left behind. Massive trees fell all over town, damaging more than 150 homes and destroying at least five.

At the Hilton on Middle Street, employees were cleaning up flood waters from the first floor Sunday afternoon. Several neighborhoods also dealt with flooding problems, including how to escape the rising waters.

"We knew we needed to get on that boat, and there was a neighbor of mine who happens to be a Craven County deputy. He had a boat, and he came and evacuated several of the families from our neighborhood. We were one of the last to go," said Shannon Nelson.

Nelson, her mother and 6-year-old daughter went back home Sunday to assess the damage. They found an inch of water inside the house. 

"It was very scary," Nelson said. "To see something like that happen to your home, it's hurtful."

Patty Duke rode out the storm at home, despite rising water that crept under her door.

New Bern saw a 6- to 7-foot storm surge from Hurricane Irene. New Bern neighborhood evacuated by boat

"I have never heard wind blow like that, never in my life," she said. "I just thank God for me and my children still being here."

East of New Bern, in the town of Havelock, residents also felt the impact. Downed power lines and trees were the biggest problem.

"I have been through, in the last 40 years, many, many hurricanes. This is probably as bad as we've seen," said Linda Rawls, whose family spent Sunday raking debris. "It got to the foundation of our house."

Atlas Henrys was cleaning up storm damage at his home in Aurora and at the family business, Carolina Seafood Company. The six feet of water that rushed over the pier crumbled walls and moved concrete blocks at the processor on Muddy Creek Road.

Carolina Seafood Co Inc. Aurora seafood company swamped by Irene

About 60 people who usually make their living at the company on the gifts of the river will be out of work Monday. 

"It's just bad," said employee Janet Diffenderfer. "It doesn't even look like the same place."


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  • mhester803 Aug 29, 2011

    Hear ye, hear ye, @Dark of the Moon, Obama already declared our coastline a disaster area when he knew the potential danger before Irene made landfall. Gov. Beverly Perdue is doing an excellent job touring, accessing the damage, and committing those federal resources to clean-up and rebuilding.

    Caaaalm down, take a deeeeep breathe.

  • Dark of the Moon Aug 29, 2011

    Obama is showing poor leadership on this issue.

    Why is he not touring the damage?

    Why is FEMA doing such a poor job?

    This is Obama's Katrina. You would have thought they would have learned.

  • itsnotmeiswear Aug 29, 2011

    I know a lot of areas were hit hard, but I haven't seen anything like the damage in Aurora. Heading there today to help a friend with picking up the pieces of his family's destroyed home on the river.