Hurricane Florence made landfall on September 14, 2018, with heavy rain over the United States, causing severe flooding throughout the Carolinas. The subsequent record-breaking rainfall from this storm system led to many flash floods, road closures, power outages and emergency evacuations. Despite weakening into a category 1 storm, 90mph winds uprooted trees and left 80,000 people without electricity.
Our team of hardworking volunteers and staff members completed work in Pamlico County, North Carolina, a city severely impacted by Florence, on September 30, 2019. As our time counted down in New Bern, North Carolina we finished our work with strength and pride, and were able to celebrate the resilience of Hurricane Florence survivors at the anniversary commemoration.
Our team initially arrived in North Carolina, following Hurricane Florence, in September 2018, and got to work setting up the Volunteer Reception Center (VRC). Thanks to our partner, Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC), the VRC was fully equipped to process incoming volunteers in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
Outside of setting up the VRC, our initial response activities included assessments of the affected area, mucking and gutting, debris removal, residential flood clean up and chainsaw work. Later on, we shifted our focus to mold sanitation as this was the next critical step in providing homeowners with a safe place to live. Thanks to the impressive response from the community, we were able to ensure that families and children could return to mold-free environments.
Over time, our scope of work expanded to include critical repairs on qualifying homes in Pamlico County; critical repair work includes installing drywall, insulation, basic cabinetry and appliances. In addition we also ensured the homes had electricity, running water and fixed plumbing, a leak-free roof and A/C/Heater units. As a critical repair program, our efforts focused on serving the most vulnerable populations, who were still living in their homes despite being unhealthy and unsafe living environments.
On September 30th we officially said farewell to our program and what had become our community over the past twelve months. All Hands and Hearts would like to thank all of the volunteers, staff, supporters, and beneficiaries, for their involvement and commitment in the North Carolina program. Without each and every one of them, we would not have had the opportunity to have such a positive impact on the community around us.