Elizabeth City region prepares for potential storm surge from Florence

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ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — Residents, businesses and emergency managers are watching the Pasquotank River and Albemarle Sound, hoping that storm surge from Hurricane Florence doesn’t cause too much flooding. 

The front of Coasters restaurant on Poindexter Street in Elizabeth City shows both the hope and the fear of folks in this area.

Plywood covers the windows, but a sign on that plywood says “We’re open for business.”

Across town it’s neighbor helping neighbor at the Department of Public Works on Pritchard Street.

Kelly Mills is digging in to a pile of free sand. She’s helping some people that she has never met before fill their sandbags.

“Its community,” said Mills. “They helped us with our bags so we’ll help them.”

Officials say Pasquotank and Camden counties and Elizabeth City are ready for whatever the river and the Albemarle Sound can throw at them. 

“It’s a voluntary evacuation,” said Sparty Hammett, Pasquotank County Manager. “If you live in a flood prone area, or if you have tree-lined streets, we’re saying evacuate.”

There was no mad rush for gas at the Park N Shop on Ehringhaus Street, but store owner Albert Desai says inside his shelves are a different story.

“I’m almost done with the water, milk, bread, there’s nothing in my store right now.”

The city has opened a shelter at the K.E. White Center on the campus of Elizabeth City State University.

ECSU has closed its regular residence halls. Students who are unable to leave campus should report to the Vaughn Center.

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