When Hurricane Florence ripped through the Carolinas over the last couple of weeks, thousands of homes were tragically flooded and wrecked.
It was a devastating tropical cyclone that dropped a total of 35.93 inches of rain in Elizabethtown, North Carolina, becoming the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in the state, and eighth wettest overall in US history.
39-year-old Gerald Thomas, from Wilmington NC, sent his three children away during the storm, but chose to stay in his house, and took some shocking footage of the aftermath.
Here are some of Gerald’s videos:
Talking about his experience during the hurricane, Gerald told UNILAD:
My first thought was that I’ve never seen a category one hurricane do this much damage.
I woke up to falling trees all around me. One tree almost took out our house.
I felt lucky, and glad my kids were not there. Several tornados touched down around us.
Our cell phone would alert us every 30 minutes. I can’t count how many times we hid in the bathroom for safety.
During the storm me and my girlfriend were putting buckets and towels underneath all the leaks and running to the bathroom every time we heard a tornado alert.
Gerald took a number of videos during and in the days following the hurricane, the most shocking of which showed their main road completely collapsed and shattered into pieces.
His other videos showed a petrol station that had been completely destroyed by the winds and rainfall, as well as huge queues of people and cars in need of gas and food.
There appeared to be only one petrol station still intact, meaning that hundreds of cars had to queue for a long time to fill-up.
Despite the dental technician’s house being subject to leaks, he said he was actually very lucky that a tree didn’t hit their house.
He explained what happened to the supplies in his local area:
The gas lines were insane. I never saw gas lines so long. I’m talking four hours to wait for gas.
Some people ran out of gas before they were able to get to the pump. Grocery stores were running out of food.
No water, no meats only canned goods. Our power was off for 120 hours.
Power has now been restored in our area and there is a big clean up ahead of us.
The devastation has really brought the community together, and Gerald said ‘neighbours are helping neighbours’, and that they ‘remain strong and will continue to keep [their] heads up’.
In their area, Gerald said he had experienced many hurricanes before but Florence was ‘unique’ because it ‘crossed the state at three to five mph’.
Gerald posted a video of the cracked road to Twitter on September 16 and many commenters shared their story of Hurricane Florence’s path of destruction.
One commenter wrote:
My parents are down there and my dad shop is destroyed with a microburst in the Murrayville area.
Flooding in their yard higher than I’ve ever seen it after being through hurricanes there for 25 years. What road is this? Stay safe!
Our thought are with all of those affected by Hurricane Florence.