First look at North Topsail Beach damage from Florence


At North Topsail Beach, the damage is bad, but could have been worse.

“It’s been a relief watching and seeing what damage was done because we thought it was going to be a great deal worse,” said North Topsail Beach police Chief William Younginer. 

Most residents evacuated before the storm, but at least one man stayed.

“I was trying to get ready to leave,” said Ronald Price, a North Topsail Beach resident. “I got hooked up to my camper with my truck and everything, and my brake line busted on my truck. When it busted, I wasn’t about to leave my stuff. So I stayed.”

But he said what he saw during the storm made him not want others to be in the same position.

“I don’t recommend anybody to do this,” said Price. “I would recommend anybody to leave this island. Get away from it. Cause it is dangerous.”

Police say they hoped to have residents back on the island by Wednesday. But they’re not sure about that now.

“We have to make sure we have water and power,” said Younginer. “And all so that emergency services can respond to any and all fire calls, anything like that. EMS, so we’ll try to get people back on as soon as we can.”

They’re working hard to clear the island for a safe return.

There’s no estimate yet as to how expensive it will be to get North Topsail Beach back to the way it was, but it will be a long process. 

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