Newfoundlanders abroad hang tough as Hurricane Florence bears down on U.S.

Newfoundlanders living in the path of Hurricane Florence in the United States are taking a "calculated risk" and staying put while more than a million people are evacuated.

Craig Brown, from St. John's, and his wife Andrea Kitta have been living in Greenville, N.C., for the last eight years. The city is just outside the mandatory evacuation zone, but Brown and Kitta are battening down the hatches.

Brown is a critical care physician who works at the local hospital and said if he and Kitta leave, it may take a long time to get back.

"Looking back to the last bigger hurricane, Hurricane Matthew, there were some folks who were trapped where they were for a couple of weeks," he said.

"Given the need to get to work and all those sorts of things, I need to be able to get to the hospital to see my patients and take care of business over there."

'We essentially turn in to a little island'

Brown said his community is in a low lying area and the rising water caused by the hurricane could create problems.

"We essentially turn in to a little island at a certain point."

Submitted by Craig Brown

Brown said he is concerned about losing electricity and sewer, but they have stocked up on water, food and other supplies and are preparing for whatever may come.

"You never can tell sometimes, the predictions are a little dire and the storm passes through without a hitch, and other times it lives up to its expectations," Brown said.

"So, we try to buy stuff that we can donate if it's going to be things that we don't have a need for after the storm."

Despite the looming storm, Brown said he isn't too worried about major damage to his home.

Submitted by Craig Brown

"The reason I feel fairly comfortable is that a great deal of this town is on a declining slope from where our house is," he said.

"While nobody from Newfoundland would ever call what we live on a hill, apparently we live on what qualifies as a hill in North Carolina, which is a gentle rise more than anything else."


Michael Moss lives in Raleigh, N.C.,roughly 135 kilometres west of Greenville and 207 kilometres inland from Wilmington, where the hurricane is supposed to hit.

Moss, who is originally from Deer Lake but has been in Carolina for about 10 years, also plans to stay put in his home in the wake of Hurricane Florence, and said people tend to overreact.

Submitted by Craig Brown

"If you go to a grocery store or a gas station you can definitely see the effects of what's about to come," he said.

"We've been through one in Florida, and this is our third one here, but right now it's kind of the calm before the storm and just trying to get ready and prepare for what's coming."

Raleigh is expecting flooding, Moss said, as well as high winds and power outages, which can create spin-off problems.

However, he said being born and raised in Newfoundland has prepared him for rough weather.

"I've always embraced a good storm," he said.

"We were considering leaving. Just yesterday, 24 hours ago, the eye of the hurricane was coming right at us, and it seems like within the past 24 hours its kind of taken a little dip south … it just feels a little bit safer knowing that we're not going to be in the middle of the thing." 

With files from On The Go and Here & Now

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