More than 20,000 are spending the night in North Carolina shelters as Florence hits

RALEIGH, N.C. — More than 20,000 people are spending Friday night in shelters in North Carolina, as Hurricane Florence hits the state. One of them is Robert Faircloth Jr., who brought a backpack, a tote bag and his dog, Buster, to a shelter.

His home of 40 years sits half a mile from the ocean in Wilmington and contains everything else he owns.

"You worry all day. You just don't know what's happening. You'd like to run down there and check things out," he said.

Faircloth planned to ride out the storm, as he'd done in years past. Instead he decided to leave.

"I'm not in the best health no more, and my trailer is old like me, and I figured I better haul buggy," he said.

But leaving was painful because his family stayed, just like every hurricane before.

"My sister and my brother, I hope you guys are OK," he said.

Late Friday, a CBS News crew in Wilmington learned his family and his house were just as he left them.

"I'm smiling," Faircloth said. "Think I'm going to hug someone."

Faircloth's not sure when he can go home because he arrived on an evacuation bus from Wilmington. Now he has to wait until officials there decided that it's safe for him and others to return.

  • Elaine Quijano

    Elaine Quijano was named a CBS News correspondent in January 2010. Quijano reports for "CBS This Morning" and the "CBS Evening News," and contributes across all CBS News platforms. She is based in New York.