Capital Region men dealing with Florence firsthand

September 14, 2018 11:19 PM

Two men from the Capital Region are dealing with Tropical Storm Florence firsthand.

Mike Tripodi is a Disability Integration Advisor for the Red Cross of Eastern New York. He's in Richmond Virginia, where he said rivers are already in flood stage. To make matters worse the region is slated to get another 5 to 8 inches over the next few days.

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"So now we're looking at more of a rain event than an actual storm event,” Tripodi said. "So we're actually looking at an extended response now especially because the flooding some of the flooding can last for days or weeks or months."

Florence has been downgraded several times, but Tripodi said that doesn't mean the response efforts will be any easier.

“Now we might be here, probably going to be here longer,” Tripodi said. “Then you also have the molds and all the other stuff that comes along with a long-term flood."

Two-hundred and fifty miles south in Wilmington, North Carolina, broadcast engineer and Latham native Nick Craig said 90 percent of the people in New Hanover County are without power.

"Unfortunately due to the large amount of rain that we're expecting still to fall from the storm it appears that the power crews are going to have to wait at least another 24 hours before they can even start restoration,” Craig said.

But that's not the only issue, Craig said the lack of cell service is also a huge problem.

"Just with in the past couple minutes it appears all major cell networks AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile are all down,” Craig said. “You can't make any outgoing calls and any call that does go out gives you a circuits are all busy error."

Craig is staying at a local TV station until the storm is over. He said he's not sure what he'll find when he returns home.

“Fortunately I'm on the third floor so I don't think I have to worry about rushing water but there's a possibility that there's a tree laying across my roof and I guess I'll find that out over the next day or two,” Craig said.

Craig said he's been keeping in touch with family via Facebook messenger, that's how NewsChannel 13 got in touch with him on Friday.

Tripodi said one of the biggest concerns is that people will be less likely to evacuate in the future because Florence has been downgraded several times. He urges people to follow evacuation directions every time they're issued until the area has been declared safe again.


Emily Burkhard

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