Recovery efforts from Hurricane Florence already underway

Published 7:47 pm Saturday, September 15, 2018

As Hurricane Florence passed through the Carolinas, thousands across Beaufort County lost power and many areas and roads were inundated with storm surge and heavy rains. Charitable organizations, such as the Salvation Army and Eagle’s Wings, have begun recovery efforts to help those in need.

Working with Beaufort County Emergency Management and the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Department, the Salvation Army of Washington, with the help of a crew from the Salvation Army of Hickory, began handing out food and water to those in need on Friday.

“Yesterday (Friday) we did some roving around the neighborhood, just fed people as we came across them,” Captain Tim Delaney from the Salvation Army of Hickory said. “People were with power, some people were without power, and we were just kind of trying to meet their needs, food-wise.”

Two groups of additional crews staged in Concord, Virginia, and Roanoke, Virginia, will join the crews in Washington, according to Lieutenant Karl Bush of the Salvation Army of Washington. Bush said the Beaufort County Emergency Operation Center directs the Salvation Army crews to the different areas they are needed for help.

“We’ve found that Aurora is obviously going to be our No. 1 concern. And then areas down River Road and out in Belhaven are going to be our biggest concerns in Beaufort County. In Hyde County, Scranton is where we’re going to target,” Bush said. “Where we’re specifically going to be in those areas, it’s probably going to be more of roving, just driving around. But in Aurora we’ll find a central place and just set up. We do have a partnership that will start tomorrow (Sunday), I believe, with the (North Carolina) Baptist Men. They bring in big field kitchens. So they will be cooking the food and we’ll deliver it.”

Along with bringing food and water to those in need, the Salvation Army is also accepting donations.

“The best way to donate currently is financially because we’re able to get exactly what is needed, versus trying to figure out the logistics of donated items,” Bush said. “Clothing and furniture donations go to our stores, as they normally do. When we begin our process of disaster social services, folks will most likely receive vouchers to come to our stores. That helps cut out the logistical part of trying to get those specific things to specific people. And then again with the financial donations, we’re not just here in Washington. Wilmington is much far worse than we are. So those finances donated will go throughout the Carolinas where it’s needed.”

To make a financial donation, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, text “STORM” to 5155 or visit 100 percent of donations for disaster relief go toward the cause, according to Delaney.

Donations, such as bottled water, non-perishable goods and canned goods, can also be made at Eagle’s Wings Food Pantry at 932 West Third Street in Washington. The office will be open to either drop off or pick up supplies from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow and Wednesday through Friday, according to the executive director of Eagle’s Wings, Ann-Marie Montague. On Tuesday, Eagle’s Wings’ normal pantry day, hours will be from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.

“We did not lose electricity at Eagle’s Wings and we are prepared to help as many people as needed, on Tuesday especially,” Montague said.

While these charitable organizations are beginning their efforts in helping the area recover from Hurricane Florence, Beaufort County officials also urge the community to come together and help those that need it.

“There’s no better help than neighborly help,” Chris Newkirk, the Chief of Fire/Emergency Management for Beaufort County Emergency Services said. “We could just use more of that in the world. We strongly encourage neighbors to help neighbors in our community. When you have events like this, that impact such a large area, we can’t rely on just one person or agency for assistance. It’s all about coming together and those partnerships and relationships. That’s what gets us through times like this, and it all starts with being a good neighbor. That’s definitely something we encourage and will continue to encourage.”