Paddling Persistence


Keith Chamblee paddling a canoe

Photo: Kim Chamblee

There’s determination, and then there’s Keith Chamblee. For four days following Hurricane Florence, UPD staff member Chamblee relied on a canoe to help get to work.

Chamblee’s neighborhood was cut off due to severe flooding on N.C. 210 in Rocky Point, NC, one of the areas hardest hit by the storm’s heavy rain and high winds. Chamblee, an equipment technician, parked his truck near the flooded highway, took his canoe and paddled across the flood waters until he reached dry land. Nearby, Chamblee had parked a rented truck. He loaded the canoe and continued his journey to the university.

“We weren’t expecting the water to come as quickly as it did, so we didn’t get any vehicles out,” said Chamblee. “We were trapped between the two creeks; the only way out was by boat. It was completely impassable.”

--Venita Jenkins