What was hyped by the media to be the worst Hurricane to hit North Carolina since 2003 was not as bad as it could have been.
Some felt that the Hurricane received too much attention for a Category 1 storm, with enough news coverage to turn twitter into a playground with 7 worldwide trending topics devoted to the storm.
Still, the damage was evident throughout the state with nearly 500,000 people without power including those in the Raleigh area.
21 people were killed by the storm with 6 of the deaths occurring in North Carolina. Including a 15 year old girl from Greensboro who died from a car accident caused by a SUV colliding with her family’s vehicle at a stoplight that lost power because of Irene.
Rachel Matthews, a sophomore at East Carolina University has been without power for the past 2 days. In spite of her struggle to live in a home with no lights she says, “The worst part is flooding, the roads, grass, parking lots and even hallways and apartments are flooded.”
And it’s not just the students like Rachel who have felt the impact, The Spilman building which is home to the chancellor’s office at ECU. Lost the metal sheeting from its roof during the storm, this caused classes at ECU to be cancelled today.
One interesting development in an effort to reduce Alcohol related fatality’s is that some of the coastal counties of North Carolina did not sell any kind of Alcoholic beverages until the Hurricane left the State.
When I asked an ABC store employee in Raleigh for his opinion on the decision he told me “If Governor Perdue were to ban the sale of Alcohol for the entire state because of a Hurricane, I can guarantee you she will not get re-elected.”
State of Emergency
President Obama along with Governor Perdue declared a state of emergency for North Carolina with Perdue saying in her declaration, “We can always rebuild, but we cannot replace lost lives.” She said.
President Obama also spoke of the damage Irene has caused yesterday in Washington D.C at the Rose Garden.
With the President saying, “I want people to understand that this is not over, Many Americans are still at serious risk of power outages and flooding which could get worse in the coming days as rivers swell past their banks.”
Obama also mentioned that those who have lost loved ones and whose lives have been affected by the storm “need to know that America will be with you in your hour of need.”
However, one organization has a dark history of not being there for Americans in their hour of need.
F.E.M.A has received international criticism for its numerous failures after Hurricane Katrina which is the costliest natural disaster in American History.
Now F.E.M.A has asked those affected by Hurricane Katrina to pay back the aid money that was sent to them in 2005 because they “overpaid” the victims of the disaster $700 Million dollars.
That may seem like a lot of money to be concerned about, until you consider that the U.S sent $12 Billion dollars to Iraq for “aid” and the money was lost with no public outrage.
More recently F.E.M.A rejected aid to victims of the April tornado’s that demolished North Carolina.
Those who are thinking of relying on F.E.M.A for assistance should be concerned and use extra precautions to make sure they do not wind up in the same situation as the Hurricane Katrina victims.