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Power... and people... returning to the town of Oriental

ORIENTAL – People are slowly returning to the town of Oriental as recovery efforts from Hurricane Florence continue. Town Manager Diane Miller says it appears all of Oriental has power again following a flash re-build of electrical infrastructure by Duke Energy. She was informed earlier this week that 80 power polls were damaged or destroyed along with miles of line. She described work done by Duke as having occurred at a “frantic pace” with power being restored earlier this morning (Thursday).  Customers of Tideland EMC had their power restored by yesterday. Roads in the town are clear with the exception of South Avenue which runs right along the waterfront. It sustained major damage and will need repairs. The sea wall in front of South Ave. will also need inspection from engineers. South Avenue is where much of the town’s festivals occur.  Restaurants in the area were not open as they will have to go through health inspections, which Miller said would be expedited. The town’s bank was flooded so all banking is currently being done in Bayboro. Miller expressed pride in town residents who are busy helping each other with clean-up. She described the effects felt from Florence as “the price you pay to live in paradise.”

George Olsen is a 1977 Havelock High School graduate. He received his B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of South Carolina in 1982 where he got his first taste of non-commercial radio working for their student station WUSC. After graduation he worked about five years in commercial radio before coming to work at Public Radio East where he has remained since outside of a nearly 3-year stint as jazz and operations coordinator at WUAL in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the early 1990s. On his return to eastern North Carolina he hosted classical music for Public Radio East before moving into the Morning Edition host position and now can be heard on All Things Considered. He also hosts and produces The Sound, five hours of Americana, Roots Rock and Contemporary Folk weekday evenings on PRE Public Radio East News & Ideas, and is a news and feature producer for Public Radio East.