Six months ago today, I left the house about 4pm to pick up a sappy movie for my wife at the Redbox, then I would swing by the Kinston Public Services operations center to say thanks to our employees working the 24 hour service calls through the heavy rain, and off to the Kinston Department of Fire and Rescue to say hello to Chief Crawford. You see the spaghetti model shown was the projected path of #HurricaneMatthew as of 6:51 am. One of the other pictures I took was in front of Bojangles on Vernon Avenue at 2:30 am the next morning…amazed at the number of abandoned cars. Little did we know the true path, the amount of rain from Raleigh to the coast, and the number of lives that would be lost.
I never made it to the fire station as we opened our Emergency Operations Center around 5:00 pm, effectively calling a curfew for our 21,000 citizens. As I watched our Kinston Police Department, Fire, and Kinston/Lenoir County Parks and Recreation Dept. professionals literally triage over 300 rescue operations in Kinston alone, it became apparent that the City of Kinston employees are some of the finest in the country. And, that we work with the best and brightest at Lenoir County Emergency Services, Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina Department of Public Safety, NC Emergency Management, and North Carolina National Guard.
Because of their tireless bravery and training many lives were spared.