Down but not out — a Hurricane Dorian story

Published 5:41 pm Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Berkley Manor is a beautiful old hotel located on Ocracoke Island. Its original woodwork and intricate details make it a unique place to relax and enjoy the island. In 70 years, the hotel has never flooded. But, when Hurricane Dorian swept over the island on Friday morning, Sept. 6, the tide brought knee-deep water rushing into the hotel.

Salvation Army disaster workers met Berkley Manor co-owner Rob Orr one morning when he walked to The Salvation Army carrying a three-pot coffee brewer. “It was the only thing left on the table so I thought I would bring it over for y’all to use,” he said with a smile. As the group visited, he shared his story of when the tide came in.

“It was around 6 a.m. and we were moving the boats to a safer location. Then the wind shifted which caused the water to begin running back into the canals. So we turned around to head back to the Manor. Once inside, I saw the tide coming. It moved so rapidly, it blew the front door open! Within 15 minutes, we had water up to our knees! The Manor is old, it’s not connected to its foundation, so there was a big risk of the entire manor lifting up and floating away!”

Rob continued his story. “The current began flowing through the house, picking up all the furniture and slamming it against one wall. So we jumped into the water, which was over our heads, and we swam toward the barn to wait it out. For two hours as the waters receded, we were praying, hoping. You know your things are gone… you just want to make it through safely. All we could do was sit back and hope for the best.”

After Rob shared his story, pastors from The Salvation Army prayed with Rob and Berkley Manor co-owner David Barns, offering words of hope and encouragement. David and Rob walked The Salvation Army pastors through the Manor, pointing out the beauty that still remained and lamenting what was lost. They know long months of work and restoration lay ahead for them. But, they were also left with the hope that Berkley Manor may be down, but it’s not out.

Stories like Rob and David’s are the reason The Salvation Army provides emotional and spiritual care to survivors after the storm. The mission of The Salvation Army is to preach the Gospel and to meet human needs in Christ’s name. After a disaster, we provide food and water to nourish the body; we provide a listening ear and shoulder to lean on to nourish the soul.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10

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

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 ( 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 or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.