Former Newswatch 16 Team Member at Center of Hurricane Coverage

WILMINGTON, N.C. -- A former member of the Newswatch 16 team is in the middle of storm coverage.

Jon Evans was the weekend sports anchor here in the mid-1980s and now he anchors the news and reports for a station in Wilmington, North Carolina, where the hurricane made landfall.

Jon Evans grew up in Nesquehoning. His wife Sheila is from Williamsport and they met at King's College.

All these years later, the couple found themselves in North Carolina and while he's covering the storm, she's evacuated to a safer place in Williamsport.

"It's been a challenge," Evans said.

Evans is working around the clock in Wilmington, North Carolina. Covering a hurricane is far different than covering sports in northeastern and central Pennsylvania.

"This storm is bringing so much water, and so much rain because it is going so slowly. That's going be the big story about this storm, at least on its impact along the North Carolina coast," Evans said.

Jon and his wife Sheila saw the deadly storm coming. When Florence became a Category 4 hurricane, Sheila evacuated to a safe area -- her daughter's home in Williamsport.

"It's hard to be here and watch what's going on there," she said.

In central Pennsylvania, Sheila Evans and her daughter watch Jon on streaming video. She worries about his safety and worries about what Wilmington will look like when she returns.

"And the only tree we had in the backyard is gone, and it is laying on the backyard neighbors' roof," Sheila said.

As for Jon, the hurricane will soon pass but the community he covers will feel Florence's effects for quite some time.

"By the time the flooding dissipates, then you are talking about rebuilding, and then you are talking about insurance. This is a process that is going to go on for six, eight, ten months, maybe even a year, before some people have their lives all the way back together," Evans added.

Evans has been in eastern North Carolina for 30 years, and since switching from sports to news, he's covered nearly a dozen hurricanes, but none of them, he says, have been this powerful or dangerous.


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