Rocky Mount remembers Floyd

May 27, 2009 9:14:24 PM PDT
Rocky Mount paused to remember the awful toll of Hurricane Floyd Wednesday.It held a special ceremony in conjunction with the National Weather Service and Hurricane Preparedness Week.

It's been just under ten years since Floyd made the Tar River crest nearly 10 feet on Sept. 17, 1999. The high water inundated the town, destroying neighborhoods and businesses.

A sign showing the highest flood level when Hurricane Floyd struck now serves as a reminder in Rocky Mount of the deadly hurricane. Flood waters killed 52 people across the state.

Resident Carolyn Joyner was living in Rocky Mount when she says flood waters quickly poured into her house.

"It started coming in the house and furniture started turning over and the refrigerator turned over, and so then we called the city and the city said they were sorry but they could not send anybody else out at that time," Joyner said.

NOAA Meteorologist Jeff Orrock says new technology is keeping residents safer.

"In ten years, hurricane forecasting has improved by 50 percent," Orrock said. "Hurricane track forecasts are so much more accurate today, which allow us more time to prepare."

Now, with the start of this year's hurricane season just days away, Gov. Bev Perdue wants everyone to begin preparing.

Click here to visit ABC11's Hurricane Center and learn more about getting prepared

Hardware stores have first aid kits, flashlights and weather radios in stock, but many people who spoke with Eyewitness News admitted that getting ready for storm season has not been high on their minds.

"I don't think I'm prepared at all," Raleigh resident Mary Zimmerman admitted.

"We don't have rations or anything like that stored up, but thankfully we live close to many grocery stores being in Brier Creek," Raleigh resident Curt Tuck said.

But Joyner says Hurricane Floyd taught her a valuable lesson.

"It's taught me to be prepared...to leave if another one comes," she said.


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