Stephens said preliminary assessments show more than 4,300 homes and 300 businesses were damaged or destroyed in the storm. Stephens said he expected that number to increase as residents and business owners return to the city and evaluate their properties.
City inspectors had begun a more detailed assessment of damages as of Sunday morning, said Stephens, who stressed that the process would take several weeks to complete. He said early damage estimates are in excess of
"This is a significant setback at the hands of Mother Nature, but we will prevail," he said.
During the storm, emergency personnel from both
Staff and volunteer help also came from
"Their efforts along with our city staff helped save many lives. Thus far we have no known fatalities as a result of the impact of the storm," said Stephens.
Staff and volunteers also worked to save the city's animals. Stephens said the
Currently the police department is concentrating its efforts on areas that received the most damage during Hurricane Florence, said Stephens. He said thus far there have been no arrests in
Addressing the city's electrical system, Stephens said all of the city of
"We will continue to work until we receive 100 percent restoration and ask that those who still don't have service be patient," said Stephens. "If you are still without power we have not forgotten you."
According to Stephens, the maximum water height measured by city gauges in
Stephens said the sewer system experienced significant inundation during the storm, which required the city to take some systems offline. He said those services were coming back online and should be fully functional within the next few days for the 1,500 customers that were affected.
Stephens said staff had gotten most of the roadways in and around
Discussing local volunteer efforts, Aldermen
"As we look forward to the days ahead, it's going to take every citizen coming together to help our neighbors," Bengel said.
Bengel said city staff were also in the process of coordinating relief efforts with Religious Community Services as well as with local churches. She said
Anyone wishing to donate money can do so at continuetogive.com/florence relief, by texting 715-803-4772, or by messaging 485-2156.
"We're going to try to spread out supplies as best we can in the areas that need it the worst, understanding that our citizens in Woodrow, off of
"I have no doubt we will come back stronger than ever," said Bengel, fighting back tears, "because when people come to our community what they remark most about is our people. It's up to us and we're going to do it."
"This was an extraordinary event," she added, "but this is an extraordinary community."
"I can't begin to thank the staff of the city of
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