When the storm came — a Hurricane Dorian Rescue

Published 6:00 pm Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Residents are returning to the small island of Ocracoke after Hurricane Dorian swept over the island, causing flash flooding from storm surge. The 1,200 residents of the island have experienced hurricanes before, but the flooding from Dorian was historic.

During door-to-door ministry, Salvation Army emotional and spiritual caregivers met Lynnette Waller on her porch as she was taking a break from cleaning up the mess the storm surge from Dorian left behind. As they visited, Lynette shared her story.

“At first, it wasn’t that bad. In fact, I thought it was over,” she recalled. “Then, in the middle of the night, I woke up and noticed the floor was wet. I walked into the living room and looked outside to discover floodwater up to the porch. I struggled to open the door because it was held shut by water. So I turned around and by the time I walked back to my chair, the water was up to my knees! At that point, I knew I could not stay any longer in the house so I walked outside to the porch. My neighbor waved to me and we tried to figure out how to get me out of the house. Thankfully, they called the fire department where a boat was brought out. The boat came right up to the porch where I was able to get off the house. The entire time, I kept thinking, ‘When am I going to wake up? Is this really happening?’”

After the fire department rescued Lynnette from her home, the Coast Guard flew Lynnette off of the island to a shelter in Elizabeth City. Her brother Gene picked her up the next day.

“I believe my sister’s house may be a total loss, but we are holding out hope,” he said. “My father built that house for us in 1958. The bones are good. I believe we will be able to reclaim it.”

Lynnette added, “I am really thankful for all The Salvation Army is doing here, we could not recover without your help.”

Pastors from The Salvation Army prayed with Lynnette and Gene and offered words of hope and encouragement, reassuring them that would come back to check on them in the following days.

The physical support of food and water that The Salvation Army provides is necessary; the emotional and spiritual support is life-giving. Specially trained Salvation Army emotional and spiritual care providers are working along the Outer Banks in the aftermath of Dorian, praying, sharing resources, and giving hope to people who are working to recover from the storm.

The Salvation Army of North and South Carolina is uniquely positioned to support people affected by Hurricane Dorian. Our network of trained disaster staff and volunteers are deployed to several locations across all potentially affected areas, in preparation to provide food, hydration, clean-up kits, hygiene supplies, and emotional and spiritual care to first responders and survivors.  We are grateful to N.C. Baptist on Mission and the American Red Cross for the partnership in providing meals to Salvation Army canteens for lunch and dinner.

If you would like to donate towards Hurricane Dorian Relief Efforts, please call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769) or you can donate online at helpsalvationarmy.org

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go towww.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.