Saturday, April 13, 2024

Newsroom Podcast September 22 – Hurricane Florence: What happened, and what questions we still have

Port City Daily, like almost everybody else, spent a lot of time without power these last two weeks. Thankfully, we had plenty of batteries. (Port City Daily photo | Benjamin Schachtman)
Port City Daily, like almost everybody else, spent a lot of time without power these last two weeks. Thankfully, we had plenty of batteries. (Port City Daily photo | Benjamin Schachtman)

This week we recap some of the major events of the last two weeks and look ahead to the big questions will still have in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

First, we get into the storm itself: despite being called “only” a Category 1 storm, Hurricane Florence did massive damage because it hovered over the region for so long. We heard one person describe the difference as follows: if a Category-5 storm is a Mike Tyson punch, Florence was an average person, punching you in the head, for days and days.

Then, we get into the storm response, including the now-viral story of looting in Wilmington. TV coverage of the looting, as it happened, was decried as racist and, at the same time, the Wilmington Police Department’s response was criticized after officers chose not to intervene.

Another aspect of the response that has people upset has been the NCDOT’s inability to answer the question, ‘when will it be safe to come home?’ NCDOT and other officials have been telling evacuees to stay put, but hundreds of residents have returned and post their routes on social media.

Lastly, we have remaining questions about the storm response — including what happened after New Hanover Regional Medical Center closed the hospital in Burgaw ahead of the storm, leaving the region without a base of medical operations for days. A related question: New Hanover County initially sent evacuees to a state-run in shelter in Raleigh, and only after the storm was downgraded to a Category 1. What happened? Are the shelters inadequate for stronger storms?

A final question: what effect did the widespread development in the Wilmington area have on how Hurricane Florence impacted the area?

Stay tuned to PortCityDaily.com for updates on these issues, as well as in-depth analysis on the region’s response to Hurricane Florence.

 

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