NEW BERN, N.C. — A reporter jumped into action in the middle of a live shot to save a dog struggling in knee-deep waters.
Julie Wilson was reporting for ABC station WTVD 11 during live stream hurricane coverage.
Wilson has ties to Missouri. She grew up on the outskirts of Plato, Missouri in Nebo, just a few miles northeast of Springfield. She worked at Springfield, Missouri TV station KRBK before joining the team at WTVD ABC 11 in January 2017.
When she saved the dog, she was doing a video for a Facebook Live about the people impacted by the hurricane. Wilson came across a woman trying to save her dog from high waters.
The woman would have died trying to save the dog.
“It’s my daughter’s therapy dog. I have no choice,” Tasha said.
While Tasha went to recover her dog — a Rottweiler that was hurt — Wilson reported about her surroundings, which included people getting onto a boat.
“This is no joke, folks, when they tell you or encourage you to leave,” Wilson said as she waited for Tasha to come back out of her house.
Once out, Wilson saw how much Tasha was struggling to get the dog out of the water, and the reporter asked her if the dog can be carried.
“Can we pick this one up?” Wilson asked. Then she asked Tasha to hold the camera as she picked up the dog herself.
“You are OK baby girl,” Wilson said to the dog as she carried her. Tasha thanked her multiple times.
“Nobody is leaving the dog in this mess,” Wilson said. “That’s what we are doing out here.”
Then Tasha told Wilson that her son is still inside trying to save one more.
“They are trying to get out folks. They are doing their best,” Wilson said before continuing to report on Facebook.
Hurricane Florence timeline
- Hurricane Florence is currently a weakening tropical cyclone. It was the sixth named storm, third hurricane, and the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.
- Florence originated from a strong tropical wave off Africa’s west coast on August 30, 2018.
- It turned into a tropical depression on the next day near Cape Verde, an African nation on a volcanic archipelago . The system acquired tropical storm strength on September 1, and grew in power for several days over open ocean.
- The system brought strong winds and rains to the Cape Verde islands, resulting in landslides and flooding.
- Then on September 4–5, Florence grew to a Category 4 major hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson scale. Environmental conditions ripped the storm apart, and Florence degraded to a tropical storm by September 7.
- The system regained hurricane strength on September 9 and major hurricane status by the following day. On September 10, Florence again became a Category 4 hurricane, later reaching a new peak intensity with winds of 140 mph.
- Afterwards, Florence weakened slightly as it underwent an eyewall replacement cycle, but it reclaimed its strength late on September 11. Early on September 13, the storm weakened to a Category 2 hurricane, due to exposure to moderate wind shear — the storm’s wind field expanded during this time.
- On the evening of September 13, it was downgraded to Category 1. Early the next day on September 14, Florence made landfall just south of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.
- On September 10 and September 11, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia all issued mandatory evacuation orders. It was expected that emergency management personnel would struggle to reach people in coastal communities once the storm arrived.
- The National Weather Service reported rain is expected to accumulate. Preliminary reports showed more than 30 inches of rain in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. Flash flooding has occurred in Wayne and eastern Johnston Counties, about 10 inches of rain has fallen.