Daughter survives typhoon, Benton mother now tracking hurricane heading toward son
BENTON, KY — A camera on top of an old Coast Guard lighthouse near the North Carolina Coast gives a live look at Hurricane Florence as it makes its way toward land. In the video on Thursday, you could see the American Flag thrashing around in wind with Florence’s force ripping it at the seams.
Paducah native Matt Watson lives in Southport, North Carolina less than 40 miles from the lighthouse. Watson’s mother, Francie Edwards-Theriac, says her son is boarded down planning to ride out the hurricane. She’s at home in Benton, Kentucky, watching the events unfold through social media.
“The worst has not hit yet,” says Edwards-Theriac. “They could still leave.”
For now, Edwards-Theriac says she isn’t worried about her son, because he’s been through a hurricane before. But earlier this week it was a different feeling as her daughter, Rebekah Campbell, was about to experience her first typhoon.
“You’re helpless,” says Edwards-Theriac. “Except for trying to stay in contact as much as you can and expecting to lose contact at any moment.”
Edwards-Theriac says her daughter lives 7,500 miles away at a Naval base in Guam. When the typhoon hit, Campbell’s husband was out at sea and she was home alone with her two little girls.
“When she told me when it was going to hit, I told her ‘I will ride it out with you.’ And so I did,” says Edwards-Theriac. “I stayed on the phone and watched for her until about five in the morning when I got really tired.”
Several hours later, after a bit of panic, Edwards-Theriac learned her daughter and grandchildren were OK. It was a sigh of relief but only for a moment. Now, Edwards-Theriac is tracking another monster storm — this time, heading straight toward her son.