Record number of weather disasters this year call for better damage control

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 8:22 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - It has been a busy year for disasters. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), In all, the past year has seen a record-setting 23 billion-dollar weather disasters.

Hurricane Florence left catastrophic damages behind four years ago in Eastern Carolina and counties learned how to deal with natural disasters more efficiently since then.

Experts from ECU say hurricanes and flooding are significant natural disasters we come across the most in Eastern Carolina and counties have learned from each experience.

In Swift Creek, residents say the houses are now elevated with stilts due to continued flooding in the area from Hurricane Florence, which inflicted traumatic damage back in 2018.

Craven County Director of Emergency Services Stanley Kite saw a trend that might be putting more people at risk – going to social media and apps for information. Kite said, “You know, it kind of scares us a little bit because they really need to be homing into what the local impacts are from local advisories and local statements because not everybody knows how to forecast what is going to happen at the local level.”

Kite added local planning boards are the most reliable, accurate sources of local information with historical data.

Experts at ECU’s natural hazards research center say individuals planning out evacuation routes for emergencies can help damage control in the bigger picture.

Meghan Millea, president of ECU Center for Natural Hazards Research shared, “If you are at an at-risk place, you do become stranded, and there are people’s jobs it is to help you with that and what you are doing inevitably is pushing that danger to other people to ensure your safety, and so kind of one of those responsible decisions, while it’s inconvenient, it is a responsible decision to make.”