OCRACOKE, N.C. (NBC/AP) — Hurricane Dorian’s floodwaters trapped people in their attics on Ocracoke Island in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
Dorian flooded homes on Ocracoke Friday with a ferocity that took even storm-hardened residents by surprise.
Longtime residents said that they had never seen flooding so bad, and that places in their homes that had never flooded before were inundated.
“It just started looking like a bathtub, very quickly,” said Steve Harris, who has lived on Ocracoke Island for most of the last 19 years. “We went from almost no water to 4 to 6 feet in a matter of minutes.”
Drone footage from NBC affiliate WRAL showed the Outer Banks island completely washed out from floodwaters.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper estimated 800 people rode out the storm on the island.
The Hyde County Sheriff’s Office sent medics and other rescuers to the island — which is only accessible by boat or air — to reach those who defied the mandatory evacuation orders.
The state’s National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard landed four Blackhawk helicopters to bring supplies. A 79-year-old man was airlifted out on one of the helicopters due to needing medical care.
Officials said others with medical needs could also be airlifted off the island and residents could be moved to a shelter in Washington County.