Dorian: Help arrives for stranded Outer Banks residents

Sept. 7 (UPI) — Hurricane Dorian has slammed North Carolina, leaving tens of thousands without electricity as help arrives for about 800 stranded in the Outer Banks.

The governor and state and local emergency officials said helicopters had arrived on the barrier island Friday to bring food and water to stranded residents and evacuate injured residents.

Dorian had trapped about 800 people on Ocracoke Island, a barrier island in North Carolina’s Outer Banks after pounding the area with 6.5 inches of rain amid a storm surge of more than 7 feet Friday, causing flooding that Gov. Roy Cooper described in a statement as “catastrophic.”

Hundreds stayed on the island near Cape Hatteras where Dorian made landfall Friday to ride out the storm despite an evacuation order leaving residents stranded and without electricity.

“Currently the island has no electricity and many homes and buildings are still underwater,” Cooper said in a statement Friday. “Helicopters will airlift food and water to the island, and fly the injured and others who want to leave the island to safety.”

Cooper added that a shelter in Washington County has been set up to accommodate people from Ocracoke who need temporary housing.

The storm has also left tens of thousands of people in the Carolinas without power.

South Carolina also saw more than 10 inches of rain as the storm came up the coast Thursday.

At least 20 tornadoes were also reported Thursday in the Carolinas and one ripped through Emerald Isle, N.C., overturning mobile homes and spreading debris across the roads.

As of Saturday morning, 57,421 people were without power in North Carolina, and 28,366 people were without power in South Carolina.

Power outages in North Carolina had dropped dramatically, by late Friday night to about 74,700 were without power, from 231,000 earlier in the morning, according to the N.C. Department of Public Safety.

Electric company Tideland EMC tweeted Saturday that 11,564 people were still without power including 1,389 outages in Ocracoke, 2,474 in Engelhard, 4,606 in Grantsboro, and 3,096 in Pantego.

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