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Hurricane Bonnie Swamps Belhaven

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BELHAVEN — Bonnie swamped the small fishing town of Belhaven in Beaufort County east of Washington. By Thursday afternoon, most of the fishing town was under water. People there say the water damage was worse than the wind.

In Belhaven on the banks of Pantego Creek, Hurricane Bonnie gave a whole new meaning to "waterfront property." Although it's small comfort, longtime residents say Bonnie didn't have the winds or the water of Hurricane Fran.

"Water's just as high. Wind wasn't quite as bad as the previous two," said Doug Bright, a Belhaven resident.

By the time Hurricane Bonnie became Tropical Storm Bonnie, the damage here came not from the wind, but from the water.

In the streets, trucks gave the right of way to homemade rafts. Thursday morning the town's fire engine couldn't get out to put out a housefire.

"We got stuff together to get in the boat. But by the time we got our boat ready to go, they called us back and said the fire was out," R.C. Flowers, Asst Fire Chief said.

In these parts people seem unimpressed by Bonnie. But they know it could have been worse because it has been.

The waters began receding by late Thursday afternoon, but much of the damage was already done.