Fourth of July not so festive for flooded Chapel Hill residents
Posted July 4, 2013
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Mark Warren was looking for a clean shirt.
But in his flood-damaged apartment at Camelot Village in Chapel Hill, that was not an easy task.
“Pretty devastating,” Warren said Thursday as he picked through his soggy belongings.
He is one of more than 150 people affected by flooding in Chapel Hill, where 4.66 inches of rain fell from Sunday to Monday morning.
Officials have said 68 units in the Camelot Village complex, on South Estes Drive, and another 22 units in the Booker Creek Townhome Apartments complex, on Booker Creek Drive, were condemned because of damage. Another 51 units in the Brookwood Condominiums complex, also on Estes Drive, were also damaged by floodwater.
“I looked outside and water started pouring,” Warren recalled.
On the Fourth of July, Warren was not thinking about fireworks or grilling. Instead, it's clean clothes and a safe place that he's focused on.
“It’s getting more stressful and emotional because I don’t know where to go,” he said. “I don’t want to go to the shelter.”
So far, Warren has avoided the shelter at Smith Middle School. But Caitlyn Wood and her family have relied on it since water destroyed their trailers at Rocky Brook Mobile Home Park on Greensboro Street.
“The staff here is awesome,” Wood said.
The mother of three said her family usually has special plans for the Fourth. But this year, after so much cleaning, her idea of celebrating has changed.
“We woke up this morning and said, ‘It’s the Fourth of July. I’m not moving nothing,’” Wood said.
“We are moving to a hotel,” she said. “The Red Cross has provided a hotel for a week.”
The Red Cross is closing the shelter after placing the people who need it into long-term housing.
“It's really fitting that on Independence Day, we were able to provide another level of independence to these people who lost everything,” said Lu Esposito, regional communications director with the Red Cross.