ELIZABETHTOWN — Town leaders are hoping to resume some type of “normalcy” Tuesday, as power was expected to return to the town late Monday night.
Eddie Madden, the town manager, said of the situation five days after Florence’s entrance, “From a public safety standpoint, not having power is a major concern. I’ve been in contact with Rep. William Brisson and with his government contacts, and when they asked me what we needed, that’s what I told them. We need power.”
Madden said the town, which operates on Duke Energy, was expected to regain electricity by 11:45 p.m. Monday.
“That will allow us to resume some form of normalcy,” Madden said.
Several businesses in town had already started back up. No. 1 Chinese Restaurant has been open every day, and Walmart, Food Lion, Tokyo Express, Marathon and Golden Run were among the other businesses serving customers in town Monday.
Billy Sizemore, his two children, and his dog were in Elizabethtown on Monday evening, looking for a safe place to park their SUV to bunker down for the night.
“I don’t want to waste money on a motel, when we can sleep in my truck just fine,” he said.
The family was trying to make its way back from Virginia to Wilmington, but didn’t know what they would find when they got there. Wilmington became cut off Sunday and remained so Monday.
“We’re just praying the house isn’t under water,” he said, grabbing his dinner and climbing into his truck/hotel-for-the-night.
If the house is submerged, Sizemore will join the thousands of others in the area fleeing their homes or being rescued from rising water. At the Elizabethtown Fire Department, Chief Nick West says the department has been busy.
“We’ve done water rescues, vehicle rescues, and a lot of tree removal,” West said. “We’re seeing a lot of people self-evacuating and getting into trouble.”
Both West and Madden stressed the need for staying home except in absolute emergencies.
“Don’t get lulled into complacency by the sunshine,” Madden advised. “Things are going to get worse as the river crests.”
The recently renovated Tory Hole Park was under water Monday afternoon, well before the Cape Fear River had crested nearby.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached at 910-862-4163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.