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Monday marks two years since Hurricane Florence made landfall

The storm made landfall near Wrightsville Beach as a Category 1 hurricane.
Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 8:21 AM EDT
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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - Monday marks two years since Hurricane Florence made landfall along our coast.

The storm made landfall near Wrightsville Beach as a Category 1 hurricane, bringing record rainfall and flooding to the area. The storm prompted more than 5,000 rescues and evacuations and 15,000 people needed emergency shelter.

In the east, the Trent River and Cape Fear River crested at record levels, bringing severe flooding to parts of Duplin County and Trenton.

New Bern was another area hit hard by the storm. The city saw hundreds of rescues, with floodwaters from the Neuse River pouring into downtown. Sabrina Bengel with the New Bern Board of Alderman says the city has come a long way since then.

“While many people have recovered and New Bern has done a great job in getting us back and running, there area still many who are not back in their homes and will never get back in their homes," said Sabrina Bengel. She added, "With that being said, New Bern has worked really hard to receive grants. Almost $100,000 to start doing a resiliency study and plan which will help in the next storm,” said Bengel.

Bengel says many downtown businesses were significantly damaged, including Surf, Wind & Fire, which lost its roof in the storm. In order to bring in business during recovery, owners had to get creative.

"They had to think outside the box with things like sidewalk sales and doing other things to try and get sales going. We have an amazing, supportive community. Downtown is 100% back in terms of Hurricane Florence,” said Bengel.

While the storm was devastating, but it was followed by resiliency and kindness. Thousands of volunteers stepped in to help those impacted.

“We are really a resilient bunch in New Bern,” said Bengel.

A total of 44 people died from the storm.

Copyright 2020 WITN. All rights reserved.

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