WHAT NOW? Recovery efforts after Florence, flooding

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Florence has moved across the region and North Carolina is finally getting the opportunity to see the destruction it left behind as resident brace for continued flooding. 

Water rescues are underway as others remain in shelters. Major roadways are flooded, preventing families from returning to their homes. 

But now what? Here’s what you need to know moving forward. 


Emergency officials have been clear in their message to stay off the roads. If you have to travel, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has provided a website to check road conditions. If that is not working, you can follow @NCDOT on Twitter for updates as well. 


Duke Energy expects effects of Florence to be felt for several days or even weeks after the storm. 

Outage Maps:

Duke Energy wants customers to report an outage as soon as possible. You can call (800) 769-3766 or text “OUT” to 57801. You can also sign up for text message alerts about outages and restoration timelines at your home or business.

Representatives from Duke Energy urge everyone to avoid down lines at all costs, and report those to the outage phone number as well.


If using a generator, never bring it indoors, even in the garage, and never refuel the machine while it is running. Duke provides a comprehensive guide to generator safety here.


People with life-threatening emergencies should call 911.
New Hanover County: http://emergencynhc.com/ or call (910) 798-6800
Brunswick County: http://www.brunswickcountync.gov/ or call (910) 253-5383
Pender County: http://www.penderem.com/ 

The American Red Cross also has an app for those needing help.

The free Red Cross Emergency App makes it easy to prepare for severe weather by providing instant access to weather and emergency alerts, life-saving information and ways to contact family and friends in case an event occurs. The app covers 14 different types of disasters including tornadoes and flooding and lets users customize more than 35 emergency alerts for themselves and where loved ones live. The app contains preloaded content so users can access guidance from Red Cross experts even without mobile connectivity, and allows users to easily toggle between Spanish and English.

The app is available in app stores by searching for the Red Cross Emergency or by going to: redcross.org/apps.


School, government offices and businesses continue to close due to ongoing weather conditions. We are keeping a running list of schools and government offices that have announced closures: https://bit.ly/2NlKtfk Please contact businesses directly. 


The dangers associated with a storm don’t end when the weather clears. Dangling power lines, flooding and other hazards remain – and survivors should know what to do to safeguard themselves and their families.

Before returning home, survivors should make a cleanup kit that includes rubber gloves, cleaning products, bleach, sponges, goggles, spatula, rubber boots, odor-control products, trash bags, hydrogen peroxide, adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointments and work towels.

Survivors should read these tips for staying safe BEFORE beginning the clean-up process.


Flood victims can begin the FEMA application process by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or by clicking here to find out their eligibility and to register. 

Small business owners should contact the Small Business Administration at 1-800-659-2955 or click here


Reporting downed trees/flooding within Wilmington City limits

To report trees or tree limbs blocking roadways within city limits call: (910) 341-7852 (leave a message if no one answers)
To report flooding or other stormwater issues within city limits call: (910) 341-4646 (leave a message if no one answers)


WECT is teaming up with the American Red Cross for recovery efforts. Those wishing to make a monetary donation can do so by going to wect.com/strong, tapping on the red “donate here” button then select “Hurricane Florence” under “I want to support.”

All donations made here stay in Eastern, NC and 91 cents of every dollar goes to humanitarian missions. 


We’re providing up-to-the-minute coverage on all WECT platforms.

Please take time to download the free WECT News app, if you haven’t done so already. We’ll provide alerts with the latest information as it comes in. 

Simply put – stay off the roads. If you need help, please contact your local law enforcement agency or call 911. We will continue to provide coverage and guidance as the flood waters begin to recede.

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