Storm pushes through county, leaves minimal damage

Published 10:40 pm Sunday, September 4, 2016

In the wake of Tropical Storm Hermine, Beaufort County suffered minimal damage, and most of the 4,000 residents who lost power, now have it restored.

The storm passed through the county late Friday night and into Saturday morning with no major damage or flooding reported, according to John Pack, director of Beaufort County Emergency Management.

According to Pack, storm surges that were predicted by the National Hurricane Center and other agencies did not materialize in many areas of the county, which resulted in less flooding and inundation of water.

Flooding along the Pamlico River began to recede to nearly normal around mid-day Saturday, according to the National Weather Service in Newport.

Pack said Aurora got hit with around 3 to 4 feet of water from storm surge, leaving several roads blocked by water for around four to five hours. There were also isolated incidents of trees falling, but more so on roads and in yards. One mobile home, however, in the Maryanna Estates community in Washington suffered extensive damage from a fallen tree.

The storm’s impact on power service left around 4,000 customers in the county without power at the height of the storm, Pack said.

At around 2 a.m. Saturday, many service providers suspended efforts to restore power for safety reasons due to wind gusts of around 45 mph at times. Tideland EMC crews resumed work at daybreak. Overnight, the co-op’s outage totals grew from 197 customers to around 1,500 in its six-county service area, according to a Tideland EMC press release.

By 10 a.m., the co-op had restored service to all but 191 customers when damaging winds brought a second assault to mainland Hyde and Dare counties, which had previously fared well. The second wave affected a total of 1,935 customers. As of 4 p.m. Saturday, only around 29 customers in Beaufort County remained without power and 946 customers without power in Hyde County, the release read.

According to Duke Energy’s outage map, around 11 Duke Energy customers in Beaufort County were without power as of around 5 p.m. Saturday.

“We were notified that Tideland EMC, Duke and the City of Washington crews were going to stand down for a while to let the highest winds pass by before attempting to go out and restore power,” Pack said.

Pack said he is pleased by the efforts to prepare for the storm and the efforts of first responders in the county, as well as the public’s compliance with warnings to stay off the roads and exercise safe practices. There was only one minor traffic accident between the hours of 7 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Saturday, he said.

“I’m glad we prepared and did all the preparation as if it was going to be a hurricane,” Pack said. “The fire departments did a great job of responding, and I greatly appreciate the people paying attention to what we asked them to do, which was to stay home and off the roads. If they get out on roads and get hurt, that puts first responders on the scene and they can get hurt.”

Pack said first-responders, in such a scenario as a natural disaster or emergency, are the heroes.

“Once again, those volunteer and paid fire fighters go out and do great things, and I can’t say enough,” Pack said. “They’re the true heroes in all responses to disasters. The people of Beaufort County are blessed to have the people in the fire departments, the sheriffs and deputy sheriffs and EMTs (and other agencies). It worked as well as we could have asked for it to work last night.”

For updates on Tideland EMCs power restoration updates, visit