Hurricane Florence

Hudsonville native rides out Florence in NC

LELAND, N.C., Mich. (WOOD) — As Hurricane Florence approached the coast of North Carolina early Friday morning, Hudsonville native Melissa Cellucci was wide awake at her home near Wilmington.

"The wind just really picked up and howled," Cellucci said over the phone Saturday morning. "I just stayed awake, just listening and hoping that nothing was going to, you know, fall on our house or anything like that.

"My kids were all asleep and safe. Some slept in the walk-in closet that we had just to feel the safest away from windows and everything like that," she continued. 

Later in the day, once winds had somewhat subsided, Cellucci was able capture video of the storm looking out her back deck.

Her home was ultimately spared damage, but the fence surrounding the property was not. Pictures from around the neighborhood show uprooted trees and debris everywhere. 

All the while, Cellucci's husband has been away from home and at work. He's part of the emergency storm response at a local hospital.

"He's a critical care flight medic, and they have all the hospital staff locked down for a certain time during these storms," she said. "Just to be on staff so they can respond to things once the storm does pass."

The worst has now passed for Cellucci and her five children, and while heavy rains continue, their area is not at risk of severe flooding.

For now, their biggest concern is getting the power back on. They've been in the dark since the storm hit.

Most of all, Cellucci wants everyone back in West Michigan to know that she and her family are okay. 

"Not everyone wanted us to stay, (some) wanted us to leave, but we made the best decision for our family. And we did it in the prepared way and we're all prepared the best we could to stay safe during a hurricane," she said. 


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