Couple welcomes first child while fleeing Florence in Raleigh

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A Jacksonville woman was having contractions last week as she left the path of Hurricane Florence in search of a safe place to give birth to her first child.

Little James Radcliffe, all 8 pounds of him, was snuggled and safe Wednesday.

“We weren’t expecting to give birth here, but we did,” said

It started last week with a mandatory evacuation from Jacksonville. First-time parents Ellen and Paul Radcliffe left after one last appointment with the doctor.

“She gave me my records and said find a safe place and give this to a hospital nearby and tell them to induce you by Sunday, no later,” Ellen Radcliffe recalled.

First, the couple went to South Carolina, but ultimately came to north Raleigh when Florence’s track changed.

“The trip was nerve-racking too, because I’m having contractions in the car and we’re like what if I go into labor now,” Ellen Radcliffe said.

Luckily, James waited until the couple arrived at Rex Hospital to make his first appearance in the world.

“He was born Saturday, Sept. 15 at 11:04 a.m. and the staff really made it as special as it could have been given the circumstances, for sure,” Ellen Radcliffe said.

Operation Airdrop delivers supplies to Florence victims

With their little boy safe in hand, and a lot of gratitude in their hearts, the Radcliffes are now looking forward to finally getting home.

“We’re hoping by the end of the week we can maybe go back. We’re going to stock up on some groceries before we do, just in case,” Ellen Radcliffe said.

The Radcliffes said they are preparing because they have heard stores are limiting purchases, but they have learned that their home was not damaged in the storm.