Norvells safe in Salisbury following evacuation

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 26, 2011

By Elizabeth Cook
With Hurricane Irene churning toward the North Carolina coast, Edward, Susan and Mary Linn Norvell took the 4 p.m. ferry out of Ocracoke Island Thursday .
They arrived home in Salisbury around midnight, veterans of yet another coastal evacuation.
They’ve been through this before.
“Always Ocracoke is the first one to evacuate,” Edward Norvell said today.
Tourists evacuate first, he said, and residents evacuate last — if they evacuate at all. The more able-bodied people stay behind to look after everything, while women and children typically leave, Norvell said.
The Norvells own a vacation home on the island and stayed longer than the tourists to secure their boat and house. “There is just a lot to do,” he said.
He had posted messages on his Facebook page earlier in the day about preparing for the storm. Several friends and the Post thought that meant the Norvells were going to experience Hurricane Irene firsthand.
But staying through the storm was not really an option for them, Norvell said. Once the last ferry leaves — carrying even the island’s ambulances and fire trucks — whoever is left has to fend for themselves.
“There’s no escape,” he said. “I just wouldn’t do that.”