Inland North Carolina cities hit hard by wind, rain

KINSTON, N.C. (WKYT/WITN) - More than a thousand homes in Kinston, about an hour from the North Carolina coast, are without power and officials say crews can't get out to fix the problems until conditions improve.

A large section of northwest Kinston lost power around 11:00 p.m. Thursday night.

The spokesman says they have had a handful of reports of structural damage, with trees on homes. There are also some reports on trees down and trees on power lines.

Highway 11 between Greenville and Kinston was closed late Friday. Most drivers were turning around but even the side roads for detours were nearly impassable. A shelter at one school was closed when its roof starting leaking, meaning the Lenoir Community College became the main shelter for the Red Cross.

The city manager asked people to stay indoors.

“The danger isn’t the steady constant rain that you see right about now, it’s that wind gust that you don’t see you don’t hear. It’s on top of you, a tree branch that is willing to go or a tree that’s almost ready to fall, that wind gust could be the one that is going to push it over,” said Kinston city manager Tony Sears.

Officials in Kinston told WKYT that this storm had more wind for them that Hurricane Matthew, which was more of a rain and flood event, but it appears that flooding is also going to be a serious issue for many.