Hurricane Ophelia hits U.S. East Coast

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Friday, September 16, 2005

With recovery from Katrina still under way, Hurricane Ophelia has now cut power to nearly 81,000 homes and businesses on the Eastern coast of North Carolina.

On Thursday, the storm moved slowly up the coast of North Carolina, causing considerable damage. Alton Ballance, a resident of the affected area, said that the storm was "just beating us to death. It's similar to the wintertime nor'easters that lay there and beat you for a couple of days.".

A small Category 1 hurricane, with top wind speeds of 85 mph (136 kph), Ophelia is nearly stalled in its current position in North Carolina and, in the words of another resident, Laurie Garner, "It just beat us and beat us and beat us."

"The barrier islands will be getting hammered one way coming up and the other way going back out," said the Governor of North Carolina, Mike Easley.