Local News

Historic New Bern Stood Strong

Posted August 26, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Historic New Bern has seen plenty of big storms. Bonnie looked bad, but the old town stood strong.

The town was not the safe harbor Ben and Doloris Ipock would have choose for their 32-foot boat. They docked at the Neuse River in New Bern on Tuesday. Around 6 p.m. Wednesday their anchor line broke as Bonnie blew in. The boat tossed on the water for 11 hours before the Ipock's decided to dock.

"The engine started running hot," Doloris said. "We couldn't chance it shutting off on us, and then we would be adrift and end up in the bridge or something like that."

They made it to a public boat ramp, safe and intact.

Thursday, Captain Ben is proud that he did not abandon ship.

"Winston Churchill said, 'don't ever, ever, ever give up,' and we didn't," Ben said.

Branches and debris littered the streets. Bonnie brought six inches of rain to New Bern, but not widespread damage.

Tryon Palace has weathered storms for over two centuries, and survived Bonnie unscathed. Residents who keep score on storm damage say they won the battle with Bonnie.

We didn't have anywhere near the damage that we did during Bertha and Fran here," city employee Joseph Monette said. "I feel pretty lucky compared to what we saw on T.V. from down Wilmington and on up. They got hit a little harder than we did."

The bridges were open and the streets were passable in New Bern. Most residents were breathing a collective sigh of relief Thursday night knowing the damage could have been much worse.