Florence: Long lines for gas, a rush to get just a thing or two remembered

By: Chrysta Carroll - Bladen Journal
Chrysta Carroll | Bladen County Walmart in Elizabethtown reopened Saturday to large crowds.
Chrysta Carroll | Bladen County The line at the Marathon gas station in Elizabethtown on Saturday began in front of Melton's, continued past the station, turned into San Jose, and ran through the Food Lion parking lot before entering the station from a side street. Elizabethtown police were directing traffic.
Chrysta Carroll | Bladen County The line at the Marathon gas station in Elizabethtown on Saturday began in front of Melton's, continued past the station, turned into San Jose, and ran through the Food Lion parking lot before entering the station from a side street. Elizabethtown police were directing traffic.

ELIZABETHTOWN — People around Bladen County began to venture out Saturday to restock the cabinets, get flashlights and fill up on gas.

“I thought I was prepared, but I forgot about paper plates,” Nathan Griffon said outside of Walmart on a gray and rainy afternoon.

He and around 100 others filled the Walmart parking lot after it reopened following Hurricane Florence’s arrival. The store will be open, but will be closing early to observe the curfew imposed by Elizabethtown and Bladen County officials. The curfew is 8 p.m.until 7 a.m. until further notice.

The storm blew in as a Category 1 on Friday, dumping more than a foot of rain on the region, with more still to come.

“The Cape Fear River is supposed to crest three feet higher than it did with Hurricane Matthew,” said Maj. Larry Guyton, with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office.

So far, according to Guyton, the command center established at the Bladen County Courthouse has been predominantly responding to calls of downed trees across roads.

They’re doing so in preparation for the worst to come. The rivers are not expected to crest until Tuesday.

“Areas of concern are the same areas that saw problems with Matthew,” Guyton said. “Highway 210, the area along the Black River, Ivanhoe and Kelly.”

To prepare for the worst, the Sheriff’s Office has stationed officers on both sides of the problematic Black River, and swift water rescue teams from Vermont were in staged in both Kelly and Bladenboro.

In Elizabethtown, officials are also concerned about areas like Richardson Drive, Mercer Mill Road and Tory Hole.

“I’m confident we’ve done everything we can to prepare, but I’m worried about those areas,” Councilman Ricky Leinwand stated.

Tory Hole was just recently renovated with a federal grant.

Florence’s rain bands are expected to dump more than 20 inches of water on the region before slogging through South Carolina and hooking through and along the Appalachian Mountains and Ohio Valley.

Chrysta Carroll | Bladen County
Walmart in Elizabethtown reopened Saturday to large crowds.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_florence5pmSat3.jpegChrysta Carroll | Bladen County
Walmart in Elizabethtown reopened Saturday to large crowds.

Chrysta Carroll | Bladen County
The line at the Marathon gas station in Elizabethtown on Saturday began in front of Melton’s, continued past the station, turned into San Jose, and ran through the Food Lion parking lot before entering the station from a side street. Elizabethtown police were directing traffic.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_florence5pmSat2.jpegChrysta Carroll | Bladen County
The line at the Marathon gas station in Elizabethtown on Saturday began in front of Melton’s, continued past the station, turned into San Jose, and ran through the Food Lion parking lot before entering the station from a side street. Elizabethtown police were directing traffic.

Chrysta Carroll | Bladen County
The line at the Marathon gas station in Elizabethtown on Saturday began in front of Melton’s, continued past the station, turned into San Jose, and ran through the Food Lion parking lot before entering the station from a side street. Elizabethtown police were directing traffic.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_florence5mpSat1.jpegChrysta Carroll | Bladen County
The line at the Marathon gas station in Elizabethtown on Saturday began in front of Melton’s, continued past the station, turned into San Jose, and ran through the Food Lion parking lot before entering the station from a side street. Elizabethtown police were directing traffic.

Chrysta Carroll

Bladen Journal

Chrysta Carroll can be reached at 910-862-4163 or ccarroll@bladenjournal.com.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached at 910-862-4163 or ccarroll@bladenjournal.com.