In Wilmington: River expected to crest Tuesday, sites set for food, water distribution

September 17, 2018

While parts of Wilmington saw power restored and roads made passable Monday, New Hanover leaders asked those who had evacuated to sit tight for a few more days.

“Things are moving as well as can be in the city,” they said, noting the sun in the sky for the first time in days as a help to cleanup efforts.

Roads to Wilmington remain cut off by the epic deluge and muddy river water swamping entire neighborhoods miles inland.

“Our roads are flooded,” said Woody White, chairman of the board of commissioners of New Hanover County. “There is no access to Wilmington.”

Another danger comes with the expected crest of flooding on Tuesday, and authorities asked people to stay off the roads expect in emergencies to continue to allow public safety officials to do their jobs.

With more than 80,000 customers still without power, and a curfew in place from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily, many businesses remain closed. Those that are open saw people massed in line for basic necessities like water and gasoline. Police guarded the door of one store, and only 10 people were allowed inside at a time.

Victor Merlos was overjoyed to find a store open for business in Wilmington since he had about 20 relatives staying at his apartment, which still had power. He spent more than $500 on cereal, eggs, soft drinks and other necessities, plus beer.

“I have everything I need for my whole family,” said Merlos. Nearby, a Waffle House restaurant limited breakfast customers to one biscuit and one drink, all take-out, with the price of $2 per item.

On a tragic note, White said a person died Sunday at the hurricane shelter at Hoggard High School. It appeared that person’s death came from natural causes, and no identity was released.

White said officials were planning for food and water to be flown into the coastal city of nearly 120,000 people. Twenty trucks full of Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), water and tarps had arrived from Fort Bragg and distribution was planned for Tuesday beginning at 10 a.m. at three sites:

After Tuesday, those locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Residents will be allowed back into Carolina and Kure beaches briefly Monday afternoon, their first chance to survey damage there.

Wrightsville Beach will opens to residents at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, and there will be an 8 p.m. curfew. Residents should expect limited power and a long wait to cross onto the island.

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