Two dead in Pitt County after Hurricane Irene

Posted August 30, 2011

Hurricane Irene toppled stately, century-old oaks in shady, historic neighborhoods in the Pitt County town of Ayden on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011.
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— Falling trees toppled by Hurricane Irene's winds proved fatal in Pitt County, where efforts to open blocked roads, clean up debris and restore power continued Monday.

The center of Irene came within 60 miles of Ayden, a small town proud of its stately, century-old oaks and shady, historic neighborhoods. Trees toppled as the storm's winds buffeted the town for hours on end.

Tree fell on house during Irene. Irene damage east of Triangle

"The wind just kept coming and coming," Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks said. "The more rain, the more wind, the more downed trees we had."

Tim Avery, 50, died when a tree crashed into his Ayden home, Town Manager Adam Mitchell said.

Avery's sister went to check on him Sunday after she hadn't heard from him, and she discovered the tree on top of his house. Firefighters found Avery dead in a chair facing the television in his living room.

Jose Manuel Farabria Corona, 21, of Dover, died in a wreck on Saturday morning, but state troopers said they aren't sure if his death was weather-related. Corona's SUV ran off County Home Road and struck two trees. Troopers said that alcohol might have played a role.

Survivors of Hurricane Irene spent Monday getting things back together.

Falling trees fatal in Pitt County Falling trees fatal in Pitt County

Workers hauling away debris and repairing power lines hadn't yet gotten to Third Avenue, where oak trees littered the road, sidewalks, yards and houses.

"This is probably the worst in Ayden," resident Ann Hawkins said.

"No attention's being paid to getting the main road open or the power restored, on this street anyway," resident Ken Davis said.

Ann Hawkins and her husband Dan said that 102-year-old oak trees barely missed their house. They sent their two daughters to live with relatives until power is back up.

"It's just very aggravating because we're all hot and hungry," Ann Hawkins said.

"Cold showers and a lot of grilling out," Dan Hawkins said.

About 1,700 homes and businesses – nearly 90 percent of Progress Energy's customers in Pitt county – remained without power Tuesday morning.

The sheriff's office enlisted inmates to help clear trees and debris from around G.R. Whitley Elementary in Grimesland, east of Greenville.

Elks said his department is working understaffed because many of his employees were displaced by the hurricane and have to see to the needs of their families.


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  • dsroyston Aug 30, 2011

    Ann, you should take a lesson from your husband. Instead of complaining that you're hot and hungry, be thankful that you and your children are alive. At least you're still able to shower, even if cold, and can cook out on the grill. Some people have nothing and would be grateful to have what you have. If you need a warm shower, then go to a hotel. If you need a better quality meal, go to a restaurant but stop complaining. And for those of you who don't think she is...she is!

  • shortcake53 Aug 30, 2011

    Sympathy to the families who lost loved ones during the storm.

  • Statick Aug 30, 2011

    Rest In Peace to the deceased.

  • packalum09 Aug 30, 2011

    Why is everyone jumping on this woman? In the previous paragraph, the article mentions something about her and her family not having any power. It seems like, to me, her statement was in regards to that only; she was aggravated about not having any power because they are hot and hungry. I don't think that that makes her an incompassionate person. Perhaps if she'd been asked for her opinion on the grand scheme of things, her answer may have been different. Still, has she no right to think of herself and her family?

  • Always160 Aug 30, 2011

    Glad to see the inmates having to get out and do some real work!

  • AnneM71 Aug 30, 2011

    I'm not saying I don't feel bad for them being without power, but really to say "It's just very aggravating because we're all hot and hungry," Ann Hawkins said." seems a little non-compassionate on her part. Many people suffered and continue to suffer and we may still get more storms.

  • pulstar40 Aug 30, 2011

    I don't think the folks who previously posted were blaming the gentlemen who passed away...but certainly the comment in the story from the woman who was aggravated because she was hot and hungry just seemed callous. Her house wasn't damaged, she and her family were safe, and all around her is destruction and she's complaining because she doesn't have any AC.

  • Ambygirl Aug 30, 2011

    Many of these people may have well prepared but one ever knows just how bad it is going to be. It's not easy to prepare for trees hitting your house and damaging your home. How can you prepare for a tree coming down on a house and killing someone??? We need to get back to having compassion for our fellow human beings instead of chastising them. God be with all those who have suffered and are still suffering from this terrible hurricane.

  • Texan Aug 30, 2011

    I feel bad for everyone in this story. A shame others don't. Telling.

  • mfarmer1 Aug 30, 2011

    Buy A Generator, And Other Camping Equipment, Prepare for Armageddon, And You Will Always Be Ready. I Was Lucky I Did not Need My Generator This Time.