Expert says Ian's biggest threat to ENC will be effects of heavy rainfall and coastal and river flooding
With Hurricane Ian approaching eastern North Carolina, one expert says the biggest threat will be water produced by heavy rainfall and coastal and river flooding.
Dr. Rick Luettich is the Director of the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City and he said often in storms like this people choose to ride it out – and that can be dangerous.
“People whose houses came down around them found themselves out in the water and the ones that lives to tell about it may have caught onto a tree branch and spent hours clutching to a tree just to keep themselves from being swept away,” he said, “The water is that powerful.”
He said more deaths from tropical storms and hurricanes are water related vs wind related.
“The water does more damage, it kills more people, and it takes longer to recover from than the wind,” Leuttich said, “So, it turns out that, particularly near the coast, the water is the worst hazard, the worst threat that people face.”
Dr. Luettich added that if there are evacuation orders issued in eastern North Carolina, people should heed them because while it’s often possible to shelter from high winds, the only way to shelter from flooding is to leave.