Rescuers check door-to-door at Ocracoke Island after people trapped in attics


CAPE HATTERAS, N.C. (AP/WNCN) — Officials in North Carolina say search-and-rescue teams are going door to door to check on people who may be injured or in need of assistance after Hurricane Dorian swamped Ocracoke Island with floodwaters.

Gov. Roy Cooper’s office said in a news release Saturday that emergency officials have transported fuel trucks, generators, and food and water to Ocracoke, which is accessible only by boat or air.

Hundreds were feared trapped by high water, and neighbors used boats to rescue one another after about 800 people chose to stay on the island.

Over and over, longtime residents said Friday that they had never seen flooding so bad, or that things that had never flooded before were inundated. Even storm-hardened residents were surprised, forcing people to retreat to their attics. 

Also Saturday, Cooper announced in a news conference Saturday afternoon that a second person has died in North Carolina related to Hurricane Dorian.

A 67-year-old man fell off a ladder while preparing for the storm in Pamlico County, Cooper said during the briefing.

On Wednesday, Cooper announced that an 85-year-old man in Columbus County fell from a ladder and died while prepping his home for the storm.

Dorian made landfall Friday morning over the Outer Banks. According to the governor’s office, the U.S. Coast Guard flew seven air rescue missions to transport people with medical conditions on Ocracoke to safety, and first responders evacuated 32 people elsewhere on the Outer Banks by ground.

The news release says about 200 people were in shelters and about 57,000 were without electricity as of midday.

There have been no reports of serious injuries or deaths since the storm arrived.

The governor was visiting coastal counties Saturday to view the damage.

Among the damage was Avalon Pier in Kill Devil Hills.

Pier officials announced Saturday that nearly half of the pier was torn away.

The pier was 700 feet long, but about 300 feet was torn away. Officials said they now have 312 feet of “usable pier.”

Also Saturday the U.S. Coast Guard said it has rescued a total of 290 people in the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian.

The Coast Guard said Saturday that six MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters are carrying out search and rescue missions and providing logistical support. It says nine Coast Guard cutters are also helping in the Bahamas.

The Coast Guard says Bahamian emergency officials and security forces are in charge of search and rescue efforts.

The United Nations says eight tons of food supplies are to arrive by ship Saturday. U.N. World Food Programme spokesman Herve Verhoosel says 14,700 ready-to-eat meals as well as logistical and telecommunications equipment are being delivered.

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