BELHAVEN: As waters recede, recovery begins

Published 1:35 pm Monday, September 17, 2018

BELHAVEN — As the Pungo River continued to recede on Monday, the citizens of Belhaven were hard at work taking care of homes and businesses impacted by the torrential flood waters that engulfed the town over the weekend, according to Belhaven Town Manager Lynn Davis.

“When you drive through the community, you see a lot of individuals and business owners out,” Davis said. “Cleanup is in full effect.

As of early Monday afternoon, Davis said that approximately 85 percent of Belhaven’s roads were passable. While water inundated the streets, Davis said the town has been fortunate in terms of electrical outages, with only a small percent of the town’s 1,400 electrical customers losing power.

“By 8:30 on Saturday morning, we had everybody up and running,” Davis said. “The majority of people had power throughout the storm.”

As the town continues recovery, Davis says the town’s elderly residents will need assistance cleaning up their yards. One of the biggest needs will be cleaning supplies and assistance mitigating water damage that took place in homes and businesses.

“With so much flooding, people are in need of that,” Davis said. “Our police department and churches have been stepping up. The fire department is kind of our central point of distribution.”

While water rescues occurred throughout Washington and vicinity of Whichard’s Beach Road, Davis said that approximately five people needed help getting out of their homes during the storm.

Above all, Davis encourages area residents to pull together and help one another as cleanup continues.

“Our businesses are working very hard to get their doors open,” Davis said. “We had professional cleaning crews in on Sunday throughout the area. This community is resilient. All of our small towns are going need the support of our local residents. If you have a choice, shop local and support your local businesses, because they are going to need it as this recovery rolls on.”

On Monday, the Belhaven Community Chamber of Commerce said the following on its Facebook page:

“The Chamber has great concern for all of our businesses and citizens. Many thanks to the town government, fire department, National Guard and all others who are helping during our town’s time of need. Please consider donating cleaning supplies particularly clorox, pinesol, brooms, rakes any anything else you can think of that might be of use. You may also make a donation to the Chamber that will be used exclusively for disaster relief. Many people need our help. If you are willing to donate your time to help others, please call 919-880-1183 anytime or the Chamber office Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you need assistance, call those numbers and we will try to find help for you.”

Water and packaged meals are available for pickup in Belhaven at the Belhaven Fire Department. Hot meals are available this evening at the Belhaven Fire Department from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.