Burrell High graduates rode out Dorian, ‘made the best of it’ | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Burrell High graduates rode out Dorian, ‘made the best of it’

Brian C. Rittmeyer
Submitted | Erika Fitch
Erika Fitch took this picture outside her home in Topsail, N.C., Thursday afternoon ahead of the passage of Hurricane Dorian overnight into Friday morning.

An Alle-Kiski Valley family that relocated to the North Carolina coast weathered Hurricane Dorian without much trouble.

Erika Fitch said there wasn’t any damage to her parents’ home in Topsail, about 30 miles north of Wilmington. Fitch, from Upper Burrell, and her fiance, Patrick, from Lower Burrell, both 25, moved earlier this year and are staying with her parents, who moved there in 2013.

They stayed at the house through the storm.

“We didn’t have any damage to the house, but lost our bench on our pier,” Fitch said.

Dorian was a Category 1 hurricane when it passed that area about 20 miles off the coast early Friday, according to the National Weather Service. Peak wind gusts reached 56 to 60 mph.

It was low tide when the storm came close, which helped reduce flooding, Fitch said. Unlike other homes in their area that are elevated, their house sits on the ground.

“The piers were covered but nothing came into the yard,” she said in an email to the Tribune-Review Friday.

“The winds really started picking up around midnight, all through the night,” she said. “That was the worst part — hearing the wind and how hard it was blowing.”

Dorian’s eye missed them and made landfall about 160 miles north in Hatteras, part of the Outer Banks.

“They got the worst of it and I feel for them,” Fitch said. “It was a long, brutal night but we made the best of it.”

Fitch said their cleanup Friday was very light with just some branches to pick up.

The day after the hurricane was very different from the day before, when Fitch described conditions as gloomy and eerie.

“It’s blue, sunny skies with no clouds and 80s today,” she said.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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