FEMA Chief on Hurricane Florence Rescues: “We wish people would heed the warnings”


  • Hurricane Florence started hitting the Carolinas on Friday with terrifying storm surge and non-stop rains.
  • FEMA administrator Brock Long said that residents who did not “heed the warnings” needed to be rescued.
  • South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster echoed the FEMA chief’s frustrations, saying there is a possibility that residents may not be rescued immediately because it’d be dangerous for rescuers.

“It’s only going to get worse at this point,” Brock Long, FEMA administrator, stated this as Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas with storm surge and continuous downpour Friday morning.

New Bern, North Carolina was hit hard by the storm surge as the residents became stranded by more than 10 feet of flood. The residents were asked to evacuate earlier this week.

Long, making a point about hurricane preparedness, stated that, “We wish people would heed the warnings.”

The FEMA chief voiced out his frustrations on residents who did not “heed the warnings” and chose to stay “for whatever reason.”  He said that when that happens, rescuers risk their lives to save them.

“We’ve got a long way to go in that culture of preparedness I keep talking about and helping people understand what their risks are, how to mitigate their situation, and just really trying to communicate this is why we ask you to leave,” Long continued. “That is exactly the reason we ask people to evacuate is the ocean rising.”

According to CBS affiliate WNCT-TV in Greenville, at least 60 people had to be rescued in Jacksonville, North Carolina, when a motel started to collapse at the peak of the storm.

The storm was moving at a speed of about 6 mph on Friday morning, but it could slow down. This led people to compare it to Hurricane Harvey which flooded Houston, crippling the city for weeks.

“This is going to be a frustrating event. You’ll see the infrastructure knocked out,” Long said. “I think you might see similar inland flooding damage that Floyd presented, that Joaquin presented to South Carolina…You’re going to see a devastating impact to the agriculture in the eastern North Carolina most likely.”

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster also warned those who did not obey the evacuation orders and stayed behind. Mcmaster had told people that if they chose to stay, there is a possibility that they may not be rescued immediately because it will be dangerous for the rescuers.

There will be lots of obstacles in the rescuers’ way because of the storm, including electrical lines, trees and flooded roads, making it very difficult to initiate a rescue operation.

Source: CBS News

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