We took the pets & the clothes on our backs.. we just had to get out

Ir­ish mum of two forced to flee deadly hur­ri­cane fears US home is de­stroyed

Irish Sunday Mirror - - NEWS -

Sea bat­ters New Bern in North Carolina Hunter, seven, and five-year-old girl Zoey plus their four dogs and cat. She said: “I wasn’t go­ing to evac­u­ate. For one I’ve never been through this.

“When that first band came in on Thurs­day morn­ing – and that was just a mini storm off a band of the hur­ri­cane – and I saw how strong the wind got and how our drive­way flooded and our power went, I knew we had to leave.

“They were about to start en­forc­ing the manda­tory cur­few so I had about 30 min­utes to get out of town.

“We left ev­ery­thing. I did not take any­thing but the kids, my lap­top, charger and the dogs and cat. We just had the

Floods in New Bern Shop near Maryellen’s home clothes on our back. The kids are the most im­por­tant. The house I don’t re­ally care about or the stuff.”

Maryellen, who was due to start a new job in the lo­cal com­mu­nity col­lege to­mor­row, won’t know what dam­age has been caused un­til she re­turns home.

She added: “I just have to wait. I’m go­ing to try to get home Sun­day or Mon­day. The roads are im­pass­able, that’s the prob­lem. New Bern is sub­merged. A por­tion of the bridge into it col­lapsed.”

Maryellen, whose US Marine hus­band Joshua is cur­rently based in California,

Duren home be­fore the storm


said she was ex­tremely wor­ried be­fore the hur­ri­cane struck. She added: “The anx­i­ety and know­ing this is off your coast and you’re go­ing to get hit, it’s ter­ri­ble. If Josh had been there it would have made it a lot less stress­ful.” Maryellen said the sup­port in her US home town has been “amaz­ing”. She added: “It’s ba­si­cally like be­ing back at home. The lo­cal com­mu­nity has been amaz­ing. “The first re­spon­ders, lo­cal po­lice depart­ment, line­men and civil­ian vol­un­teers have all pulled to­gether and saved lives in our town. US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has de­clared a dis­as­ter in North Carolina amid warn­ings the worst is far from over. Florence’s top sus­tained winds have weak­ened to 80kmh but it is pro­jected to bring fur­ther cat­a­strophic flash flood­ing. Nearly a mil­lion house­holds have no elec­tric­ity in the Caroli­nas. news@irish­mir­ror.ie Crews in North Carolina





STORM OR­DEAL Maryellen Duren and her fam­ily

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