New Jersey

North Carolina Couple Still Stuck in New Jersey After Florence

“I’m anxious to get back home"

What began as a trip to Dick Dunmire's hometown of Pittsburgh has turned into an 11-day evacuation. And counting.

It’s been that long since Dunmire and his wife, Linda, have set foot in their home in Boiling Spring Lakes, North Carolina, which is not far from the Cape Fear River and the North Carolina coast.

They've been staying with family in North Wildwood, New Jersey for the past week and a half. But the couple are anxiously awaiting their trip home in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

“I’m anxious to get back home," Dunmire said. "It’s been too long.”

Sept. 9, Dunmire left for his 50th class reunion in Pittsburgh. It was good timing to take a trip north.

Florence was boiling in the Atlantic Ocean, aiming right at his North Carolina home.

Still, preparing for the then-Category 4 storm felt familiar. They've lived in North Carolina for 10 years, so the Dunmires have had experience in hunkering down. They did it most recently for Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

And Dunmire had served in the Coast Guard about two hours north in Morehead City. He’d evacuated that area on several occasions.

Florence, though, was different.

[NATL]Florence in Photos: Long Recovery Ahead for Carolinas From Record Flooding

"The rainfall was unimaginable,” Dunmire said. At one point, his area received 20 inches of rain in two hours.

Luckily, the Dunmires have received no reports of damage to their home. The town of Boiling Spring Lake has running water, but no electricity and many roads leading to their community have been washed away.

He does not expect the power to come on until at least Sunday night.

Still, he doesn't mind returning to the dark. He's planning to leave as soon as he can, perhaps even Friday.

Contact Us