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Fri September 1, 2006
New Hanover, Brunswick Counties Post-Ernesto
By Catherine M. Welch
Wilmington, NC – New Hanover County is recovering after Tropical Storm Ernesto dumped up a reported 14 inches of rain at Wrightsville Beach, and a record-setting eight inches in Wilmington.
New Hanover County Emergency Operations Center says 61 people stayed at the shelter in Wilmington, and as many a 1,800 Progress Energy customers lost power.
Dave Baker, director of Ocean Rescue for Wrightsville Beach, says Ernesto's nightly landfall kept away most onlookers.
You always have the thrill seekers and the news media trying to get the money shot but fortunately it wasn't a major event and it did come in at night, so that did come in a lot.
The National Hurricane Center says Ernesto created a storm surge of 3 to 5 feet.
Rip currents are now a concern as Ernesto churns away from the coast just as weekend travelers arrive.
Most of the water is off the roads n Brunswick County, where the Emergency Operations Center says one car was reported caught in flooding.
The county reports 34 people spent the night in a shelter. Progress Energy says 3,000 Brunswick County customers lost power between six o'clock last night and 10 o'clock this morning.
The County opened two shelters and called for a State of Emergency.
Brunswick County Sue Biggs says even though Ernesto remained a tropical storm, she's pleased that officials took extra precautions.
That wasn't bad because when he was out over the water, he could have collected more power, more water and really messed us up.
Emergency Officials around the region are keeping an eye on swelling creeks and rivers.
The National Weather Service reports Hood Creek near Leland peaked near 11 feet at around seven o'clock this morning.