Salisbury residents evacuate Hyde County
Update: Since this story went to press, Ed and Susan Norvell have arrived safely in Salisbury after securing their home and belongings in Ocracoke and following the Hyde County evacuation plans.
By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY — After successfully riding out Earl last year, Salisbury residents Edward and Susan Norvell have decided to stay on the Outer Banks for Hurricane Irene.
“Hunkered down and ready for the storm,” Norvell wrote on his Facebook profile Wednesday night.
A number of his friends urged the couple to leave, but Norvell only said he would check on a friend’s house for her. No more posts were visible on his profile Thursday night.
The N.C. Department of Transportation began suspending some ferry routes to Ocracoke Island, where the Norvells’ beach home is located, on Thursday evening.
The ferry between Ocracoke and Hatteras will remain in service until water conditions grow unsafe — typically when winds exceed 40 miles per hour, the Associated Press reported. Operations will return to normal as soon as the U.S. Coast Guard deems it safe.
As the Carolinas brace for the hurricane’s arrival, the Bahamas are shaking off the storm and checking out the damage left behind.
Salisbury native Ashley Maddox left her Abaco, Bahamas, home near the shore to stay with her boyfriend’s parents on higher ground this week.
She said in an email to the Post on Thursday evening that the worst of the storm had gone, but it was still delivering 70- to 75 mph winds.
“We went out during the eye of the storm and the damage is there (to be expected) but most of it seemed to be on the docks,” Ashley wrote. “Our house looked alright from the outside but we are afraid it has flooded due to leaky roofs. During the middle of the storm the walls were flexing and the cats were not happy.”
Ellen Maddox, Ashley’s mother, said earlier in the afternoon that she was a “nervous wreck” about her daughter. Ellen and her husband, Scott, spoke to their daughter Wednesday night but the phone connection was poor.
Since then, they’ve been keeping up with Ashley on her Facebook profile as she posts updates. She lost power at one point but soon was using electricity from a generator.
“She’s always been very close to us and let us know what’s going on, so I’m thankful she’s able to do that still,” Ellen said. “We’re so used to talking very frequently, and when you’re unable to do that, it’s not a very good feeling for a mother.”
She said this is Ashley’s first hurricane since she moved to the Bahamas in December 2009. Ashley found a job there as a first-grade teacher after visiting her boyfriend, Aaron Knowles, whose parents own a marina in Abaco.
“I know she’s shaking in her boots,” Ellen said. “They’ve had a few tropical storms, but nothing compared to this. … But his parents are there, and they are a wonderful family, so I know she’s in good hands.”
On Thursday evening around 7 p.m. – about 8 hours after her last update – Ashley posted on Facebook, “everything is dying down now… cant wait (or maybe i can) to get inside our house to see what it looks like!”
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
Facebook: facebook.com/ Karissa.SalisburyPost