Hurricanes

Kinston flood victims live off donations, faith

Posted October 16

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— The floodwaters are gradually going down in Kinston, but bridges across the Neuse River remain closed and several highways, including U.S. 70, are still shut down.

Waters were still rushing Sunday on Springhill Street and writhing around the Kinston Music Park while waters that are still and stagnant have left Rosemary Cheston marooned in a high school gym for eight days.

“I’m too old for this,” Cheston said.

Cheston, 68, walks with a cane and left her house with just the clothes on her back. The clothes she was wearing Sunday were courtesy of the Red Cross.

“So if it weren’t for the donations, we wouldn’t have anything. We’re living on donations,” Cheston said.

For those staying at the Red Cross shelter, the Baptists on a Mission- a group comprised entirely of volunteers- have prepared vegetables and meat three times per day to feed to the multitudes.

Becky Galloway traveled 450 miles from Andrews to help those in need.

“You get such a blessing, you wouldn’t believe,” Galloway said. “It just washes over you and gives you peace. I mean, we might get crazy, but we’re still peaceful inside.”

Serving and preparing 3,800 meals per day for the flooded-out people of Lenoir County and the first responders can get a bit crazy, but inner peace can be found everywhere. Bertrum Jones has it, even though her refuge is a cot in a gym.

“I’ve got God in my heart, God on my side and I feel like God will carry us through,” Jones said.

Two shelters remain open in the Kinston area and engineers are checking to see if the bridges across the Neuse River are structurally sound, but it could be several more days before they reopen.

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