BERN, N.C. — You know you're in trouble when the Cajun Navy comes to town!
"Unfortunately, Florence is doing exactly as predicted," says FEMA Director Brock Long.
The freakishly fierce Florence made landfall in North Carolina early Friday near Wrightsville Beach and, just as expected, she's causing major flooding and power outages throughout the coastal region.
She's also to blame for two deaths, so far. Wilmington police say a mom and her baby were killed when a tree fell on a house there.
Thankfully, the Cajun Navy is coming to the rescue of some Carolina residents. Dare we say it? These folks are now in the same proverbial boat as we were a year ago.
"In a matter of seconds, my house was flooded to my waist," says Peggy Perry of New Bern. "And now it's to my chest, and we are stuck in the attic."
By mid morning Friday, more than 200 people had been rescued from rising waters and about 150 more had to wait as conditions got worse and storm surge reached 10 feet.
"Florence is a very slow mover. It will not get to Columbia, South Carolina until Sunday midnight-morning."
Downed trees and lack of electricity are only part of the problem. Storm surge poses the biggest challenge, and federal officials have been prepping for days.
"We have close to 1,300 search and rescue assets — people and assets — on the ground from South Carolina to the District of Columbia," says Long.
By the time she's done. Flo will have left 10 trillion gallons of water in her wake.
Sadly, we're way too familiar.