Recovery well underway in Emerald Isle following Dorian

North Carolina news

EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WNCN) — The sound of heavy machinery is now echoing through the Boardwalk RV park in Emerald Isle following last week’s tornado spawned by hurricane Dorian.

It caused a lot of damage and now, tenants and the town are now working with the park’s owners to make it habitable again. 

When the waterspout turned tornado came ashore—it’s F-2 strength winds turned a large section of the RV park into unrecognizable piles of rubble. 

Now a week later, the recovery is well underway.

County dump trucks are hauling away load after load of debris as crews work to remove the destruction left behind.

This is a community of summer and second homes—and Bill Canouse was one of the few people still here when the tornado caught him by surprise.

“I’m sitting here watching TV and I got a little shake, then a second shake—then the wall caves in on me and threw me to the floor,” he said.

Trapped inside his RV—it got worse.

“Another unit came through my roof,” he said.

That unit belonged to Paul Shelton who pointed out where it had been located—dozens of yards away.

“That green deck—that’s my deck my unit was right there,” Shelton said. “The unit traveled from there and came up over and landed on Bill’s unit over here.”

As the remnants of people’s lives were collected and made ready for disposal, residents here had to make decisions about their future.  

For Paul Shelton, last week’s storm uprooted the sense of security he and his wife had so they’re not coming back.

“Last year Florence came in and took my roof off and I had to replace the roof. This year the waterspout gets us,” Shelton said. “I think we’ll look further south.”

Bill Canouse figures if he could survive a tornado—he can survive anything else that happens here in the future—so he’s staying.

“We will put in a new unit here,” Canouse said.”I don’t think we can rebuild the old one.

“We’re going to stay here. We love it,” he said.

Many of the more severely damaged units will have to be removed, while others may require repairs to keep them habitable.

The park’s two owners say they’ll do what they can to help the tenants here but there are some things that can’t be fixed quickly, like electrical connections.

One of the park’s owners told CBS 17 the power pedestals with the meters and electrical hookups will be the biggest bug-a-boo.

He says those pedestals will have to be reinstalled and re-certified before they can once again supply RV units with power.

The owners are hoping by the first of January the RV park will be completely up and running once again.

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