SAU Buzz

In the wake of Hurricane Florence

by Ashlynn Maczko
Posted on Oct 04, 2018

As Hurricane Florence made landfall on Sept. 14, residents in the Carolinas prepared for flooding, property damage, and power outages.


Ashley Crouch, a St. Ambrose alumna who recently moved to North Carolina, was beyond prepared for the storm.


Crouch moved to Mooresville, North Carolina, after graduating from St. Ambrose University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2016 and completing her Master of Speech Language Pathology degree in May 2018.


“To prep for the storm, you have to prepare for wind damage, power outages, and flooding,” Crouch explained via email. “I made sure I was stocked up with lots of supplies including perishable food items, lighters, candles, a can opener, bottled water, portable chargers.”


“I filled my car up with gas and made sure my gutters were clear,” Crouch detailed. “I also filled up my bathtub with water so that if we had no running water, I could use that water to flush the toilet and wash dishes. Most importantly, I stayed inside during the storm.”


Now, after two weeks, hundreds of roads remain closed, thousands are left without power, and flooding continues to be an issue in both North and South Carolina, reports USA Today.


“The storm, once it hit us, was pretty patchy,” Crouch explained. “Meaning some places got hit hard and others didn't. For example, Mooresville didn't really get hit at all. But south Charlotte had really bad flooding with roads caved in.”


Despite the varying levels of severity that different areas of the state saw, many affected sought disaster assistance to help cover the damage caused by Hurricane Florence.


According to USA Today, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said that 74,000 residents have applied for Federal Emergency Management Administration aid as of Sept. 24, 10 days after Florence made landfall.


“You just never know because the storm is so unpredictable,” Crouch explained. “It rained for three days straight, but not very hard where I was at, and there was barely any wind here. So, nothing too crazy, but you just never know. On Monday, the sun came out and it was like nothing had happened.”


Though Florence has since dissipated, it will be a long while before the Carolinas recover.


According to CNBC, AccuWeather founder Joel Myers estimated the costs from the storm would range from $30 billion to $60 billion, ranking it among the top 10 costliest hurricanes in U.S. history.


Property and economic losses are not the only consequences that resulted from the storm. As of Sept. 26, at least 47 deaths have been attributed to Hurricane Florence, reports CBS News.


Unfortunately for Carolina residents, the weather refuses to remain clear. An area of low pressure south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, could become a tropical depression between Sept. 26 and Oct. 1, bringing more rain to the Carolina coast and causing more flooding, reports NBC News.


The American Red Cross has served over 890,600 meals, provided over 113,200 overnight stays in shelters, distributed over 110,700 relief items (basic hygiene kits), and provided 28,100 mental health and health services contacts to evacuees as of Sept. 27, according to their website.


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