As flood watches continue, cleanup from Florence underway

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Flooding remains a problem in the aftermath of the storm that made landfall near Cape Fear, N.C., last Thursday. Photo courtesy Soundings Online.

Flooding remains a problem in the aftermath of the storm that made landfall near Cape Fear, N.C., last Thursday. Photo courtesy Soundings Online.

Mike Rice of Pelican Bay Boatworks in New Bern, N.C., considers himself and his company quite lucky to have had 10 inches of water in his shop in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

“Luckily it stopped at 10 inches, and it was more aggravation than anything else,” he told this morning. “We only lost one boat and we’re getting ready to hook up to it now. We were the least affected of the yards in New Bern.”

Pelican Bay Boatworks is on the back side of New Bern on Lawson Creek. It was more protected from the winds and 10-foot storm surge than some other companies. Once Rice secured the missing boat, he planned to help Tidewater Marine. That yard is at a lower elevation and more exposed to the storm.

“They’re just scrambling, picking up boats,” said Rice. “Everyone is running around the yard with lifts. Our community is pulling together and doing what we have to do.”

About 35 to 40 miles northeast in Washington, N.C., Reggie Fountain II, the founder of Fountain Powerboats and consultant to the Iconic Marine Group, said the factory remains without power this morning. Iconic builds Fountain, Donzi and Baja models. Fountain said the only other indication of the storm hitting was about 3 to 4 inches of water entering the facility.

“The biggest problem was the interruption of the manufacturing process,” said Fountain in a phone interview. “There was no damage at the factory other than lost time.”

Fountain was directing cleanup efforts at his home on the Pamlico River in Washington, N.C., which crested at 8.21 feet. Fountain said he had about six inches of water in his garage, but other than that, the waterfront property was spared other than debris and typical post-storm yard cleanup.

Fountain said that the Neuse River in the Cape Fear area had more problems with flooding, and the Wilmington area got hit worse.

On the company’s Facebook page, Hatteras Yachts, based in New Bern, provided an update Sunday evening saying the factory is still without power, but the company has a small crew working off generators, cleaning up and readying the factory to get back up to speed when power is restored.

Jarrett Bay Boatworks also posted on Facebook, saying that a few employees had started the cleanup process from the flooding and wind damage sustained at its Beaufort, N.C., headquarters, which did not have power as of late Sunday. The company said it is “committed to being back in full operation as soon as possible but our employees and the community have to be our top priority at this time.”

Grady-White Boats and Regulator Marine both reported no damage to their facilities. Grady-White said they were going to start back yesterday.

This morning, the National Hurricane Center has downgraded Florence to a Tropical Storm and has issued flash flood watches from Maryland and Northern Virginia into Southern New York and even New England. The primary hazard remaining from the storm, which had maximum sustained winds of 25 mph, is the rain that is expected today.


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