Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina as a category 1 Friday morning at 7:15 e.s.t., with wind gusts of 90 miles per hour and heavy rainfall that is expected to persist and cause disastrous flooding.
While her mother is a Mankato resident, 24-year-old Audrey Riggs lives in Jacksonville, North Carolina and only an hour after the storm made landfall she started seeing damage to the home and property she and her husband Austin bought just this summer.
She said the house is, “Missing I’m going to say 95 percent of our shingles. Part of our backyard fence is down. Our living room ceiling is not leaking but there is obviously water on the ceiling. Haven’t had power since 9:00 last night.”
Jacksonville did have some areas under mandatory evacuation – those near the river and low-lying spots prone to flooding – but Rigg’s neighborhood was not among them. She decided to stay put because she’s due essentially any time with her first child.
“One of biggest things was being 38 weeks pregnant I wanted to mainly stay close to the hospital that we know but the other issue was our dogs. Our dogs are our family and we weren’t going to just leave them here,” she explained.
Riggs said it was difficult to impossible to find a dog-friendly place to stay with just days notice.
**Disclaimer — Audrey is the daughter of KTOE News Director Annette Weston