Debris

Craig Woolston of Newport throws tree limbs into a pile of debris Saturday after cleaning up his yard from Hurricane Dorian damage. (Megan Soult photo)

Editor's note: This article was last updated Sept. 7 at 3:47 p.m.

NEWPORT — Not long after Hurricane Dorian swept through the area, town residents were already cleaning up what little damage the storm left behind.

Curtis Woolston was picking up tree limbs from his backyard Saturday morning and said the damage to his property wasn’t bad at all.

“We did alright compared to the last one (Hurricane Florence),” he said. “We got a lot of cleaning up to do. We got a one good limb (down) but that was it.”

Last year, Florence landed a hard blow to Newport, an inland town, with the rising waters of the Newport River overflowing, flooding many homes and, for a time, cutting off access to the town. Last week’s Hurricane Dorian, however, left the town largely unscathed.

Mr. Woolston stayed in town during Hurricane Dorian, despite a county evacuation order, and also stayed during Hurricane Florence. He said this time around, he was worried about one tree falling on the house.

The tree did not fall and Mr. Woolston spent Saturday picking up small limbs.

“If this is all I got to do then I’m happy,” he said.

Many areas around town saw about as much damage as Mr. Woolston’s yard, according to town officials.

Interim Town Manager Chris Turner said the Newport Fire Department spent much of Thursday night running emergency calls, but nothing was life-threatening. The calls were mostly for downed power lines and trees.

Overall, Mr. Turner said Newport fared well during the storm, noting there is no comparison between Dorian and Florence, though there were a few hours where things got “rocky.”

“Between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. it was really rocky,” he said. “We had hurricane strength winds of 50 miles per hour and higher and gusts of 80 miles per hour.” Hurricane winds are 174 mph minimum.

He said emergency personnel had to shelter in place between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. and the department responded to calls after that time.

The Newport Fire Department had outside help for the duration of the storm, as well.

“There were out-of-town units from Conover, Gaston County, Orange (County) Rural Fire Department supporting our teams as we do assessments,” Mr. Turner said.

The National Guard assisted, as well as a unit from Claiborne, Tenn.

Mr. Turner also praised the power workers, who worked throughout the storm and after to restore power.

“Our linemen are amazing,” he said.

Mayor Dennis Barber said those at the county shelter at Newport Middle School fared well. He thanked The Salvation Army for assisting with the shelter’s needs.

“Had they not been there, possibly those folks would have gone hungry,” Mayor Barber said.

Officials rescinded a storm-related curfew Friday afternoon.

Newport was one of the last areas in the county to issue a curfew. Mayor Barber said the order was to ensure everyone had a chance to make it to the shelter at the middle school.

To stay up-to-date with information on the town, follow it on Facebook.

 

Contact Megan Soult at 252-726-7081, ext. 228; email megan.soult@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @meganCCNT.

 

Previous report

NEWPORT — Hurricane Dorian did not leave much damage in this area, according to officials.

According to Interim Town Manager Chris Turner, the Newport Fire Department spent much of Thursday night running emergency calls, but nothing was life threatening. It was mostly downed power lines and trees.

Mr. Turner said Newport fared well during the storm.

He said there was no comparison between Hurricane Dorian and last year’s Hurricane Florence, though there were a few hours where things got “rocky.”

“Between 1 and 5 a.m. it was really rocky,” he said. “We had hurricane strength winds of 50 miles per hour and higher and gusts of 80 miles per hour.”

He said emergency personnel had to shelter in place between 3 and 4 a.m. and the department responded to calls after that time.

The Newport Fire Department had outside help for the duration of the storm.

“There were out of town units from Conover, Gaston County, Orange Rural Fire Department supporting our teams as we do assessments,” Mr. Turner said.

The National Guard assisted, as well as a unit from Claiborne, Tenn.

Mr. Turner also praised the power workers, who were working throughout the storm and after to restore power.

Some areas in town are still without power.

“Our linemen are amazing,” he said.

Newport Mayor Dennis Barber said those at the county shelter at Newport Middle School fared well.

Mayor Barber said as of Thursday night, the shelter was housing more than 300 people.

He thanked The Salvation Army for assisting with the shelter’s needs.

“Had they not been there, possibly those folks would have gone hungry,” Mayor Barber said.

According to the town’s Facebook page, the curfew was rescinded Friday afternoon, and there are no plans to reinstate the curfew unless there are significant threats to life, safety or property.

Newport was one of the last areas in the county to issue a curfew. Mayor Barber said this was to ensure everyone had a chance to make it to the shelter at the middle school.

Officials said the state of emergency is still under effect until further notice.

Emergency services, police, fire, EMS and public utilities staff are working around the clock to restore services and operations to the town.

At this time, town residents are encouraged not to travel unless it’s an emergency to support the emergency workers.

To stay up-to-date with information on the town, follow them on Facebook.

 

Contact Megan Soult at 252-726-7081, ext. 228; email megan.soult@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @meganCCNT.

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