After days of radio silence, local parents worried about son in Wilmington get good news


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Thousands of homes are still without power in New Hanover County, North Carolina, due to Hurricane Florence and phone lines still aren’t working very well.

It’s a combination that led to one local family’s growing concern about their son who lives in Wilmington. 

It had been about two weeks since Earl Killmon and Susan Blake had heard from their son Zach Killmon.

“He tends to be a little stubborn at times, and he probably would have tried to ride it out, but we got up with some friends of his and they convinced him to leave, so he went inland a little bit and we lost contact with him,” said Earl Killmon.

“The most frightening part of it was not knowing who he was with where he had gone you can’t get in your car and go look for him your hands are just tied,” said Zach’s mom Susan Blake. 

After a few days without communication, Zach’s sister started reaching out to his friends in Wilmington on Facebook.

The search didn’t lead to any answers at first.

“You get to the point where you watch TV and you see if you can see him in a crowd, you look in the newspaper you know is that maybe the back of his head in a picture,” Blake said. 

Out of concern, Blake and Killmon reached out to 10 On Your Side to get the word out. 

As a crew was on the way to interview them, they made contact with one of his friends, who assured them Zach was safe.

“A big weight has been released, a much better feeling until I can get my hands on him,” joked Killmon.

However, they say even though their son’s story had a happy ending, they are praying for all the families that are still waiting for answers, and they have a message for them.

“Persevere in what you’re doing, use social media, just don’t give up,” he suggested.

A New Hanover County spokesperson says officials are available to do welfare checks for those who can’t get into the area and want to make sure their loved one is OK.   

If you would like assistance, please call 910-798-6800.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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