Under the Dome

Spokesman: Perdue rushed home from Kentucky following storm

Gov. Bev Perdue was attending a horse race in Kentucky on Saturday, visiting with old friends and that state's Democratic governor as a line of deadly storms swept across North Carolina.

When she learned of the extent of damage from the tornadoes, she cut the trip short and returned to Raleigh Saturday evening, according to Perdue spokesman Mark Johnson.

Perdue's whereabouts was something of a mystery Saturday as there was no appearance or public statement from the governor in the hours after the storm.

The governor was not present at the 8 p.m. media briefing and state Emergency Management Director Doug Hoell indicated he had not yet spoken directly with her.

There was also no indication of whether Perdue would officially declare a state of emergency, an order that allows the state to seek federal disaster aid and permits large supply and utility trucks to enter the state to help in the rescue and cleanup. 

Shortly after 9 p.m., about 6 hours after tornadoes ripped through Raleigh and the surrounding area, Perdue communications director Chrissy Pearson said that Perdue had been out of the state attending to a "family obligation."

Pearson refused to say exactly where the governor was, where she had been or when she was expected to return to the state capital.

Johnson clarified on Sunday that Perdue was in Lexington, Ky., visiting with fellow Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear.

Perdue was elected in December as vice chair of the Democratic Governors Association, a political and fund raising organization. Johnson said the visit was purely social and that there were no fund-raising events while Perdue was in Kentucky.

Johnson said Perdue also visited with four of her former roommates from the University of Kentucky, where she went to college.

In response to a query from The N&O, Johnson confirmed that the governor had attend the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, a thoroughbred horse race held Saturday.

Though preliminary races were held earlier in afternoon, the Blue Grass Stakes started at 5:45 p.m. Johnson said he did not know precisely when the governor left Kentucky, though he said she was back in the state "by the early evening."

By chance, an N&O employee returning from a business trip to Kentucky was seated one row behind the governor on a US Airways commercial flight from Charlotte that departed at about 8:45 p.m. and landed at RDU about 9:20 p.m.

Perdue's staff hastily called a media conference for 11 p.m., the governor's first public statement following the storm. At that time, Perdue announced that she was declaring a state of emergency.

Johnson said that there was no delay in issuing the declaration or in getting needed help to survivors of the storm because the governor had been away.


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Where was Bev, 5-6 hours after Tragedy?

As of 8pm, the Emergency Management Director, Doug Hoell had not yet spoken with Bev - 5 hours after the tornadoes.  That was quite a family obligation that she was totally out of touch as our state's leader.  Maybe too much to drink at the horse races.  Perhaps another Governor Sanford moment.  Inexcusable.

Sorry for the inconvenience, Governor

But that is OK, I promise not to interrupt your weekends in the future. I will instead bug Pat McCrory. Then you will have plenty of time to play the ponies.


Curious that this isn't front page above the fold.  Could it be a variation of an inconvenient truth?

So they lied to us... there

So they lied to us... there was no "family obligation". 

Plus ... let me get this straight... the state of North Carolina had been hit with FATAL and DEVESTATING tornadoes, eight at last count, and our Governor couldn't leave on an earlier flight or catch a private plane back to NC because of a horse race?




I want some diehard democratic supporter to explain to me how this isn't messed up.


Tomorrow's story will be that the tornadoes never happened - they were instead the result of someone leaving a fan on the highest speed and the media overreacted, which caused mass hysteria. When Granny Bev heard about the situation, she hopped into her Cadillac and sped home [only taking out 4 people along the way] to calm the masses, afterwhich she announced [via Bambi Bubblehead, Director of Granny Bev Propaganda] a 44% tax on homeless people and those drawing unemployment benefits.

Kentucky can keep her

She can stay in Kentucky!

How much did this "rushing

How much did this "rushed returned to Raleigh" cost all us taxpayers. The possibility of an outbreak of severe weather in NC was known at least 24 hours in advance.

dumpling's folly

Attending to a family obligation?  Watching the ponies run in Kentucky!  Her own staff can't even get their stories straight.  A great mystery as to whether or not she would declare a state of emergency?  No mystery,  since events like this always result in a state of emergency being declared.  She is useless and appeared to be in a bit of a stupor during the "thrown together" news conference.

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