Local News

Help Comes Slowly For Eastern N.C. Residents Affected By Isabel

Posted September 22, 2003

— A weekend of picking up yard debris was not enough for thousands of people impacted by Hurricane Isabel. Days after the storm hit, thousands of people are still without power, and it may be days or possibly weeks before it comes back on.

About half the people in Pasquotank County do not have electricity. Officials said more than 2,000 homes in the county have been damaged, but help is starting to move in.

Volunteers are providing more than 20,000 hot meals a day for those affected by the storm's fury. One woman from Gates County drove to Pasquotank County with her family. She said she still does not have power.

"We feel really neglected up there and everyone says the reason is because we are a poorer county, and if we had more money, that we would be treated better," said Becky, who asked to remain anonymous.

Another area devastated by Isabel was Carteret County. Based on comments from residents in that area, many of them lost everything due to flooding.

Danny Styron said the water rose so quickly in his Stacy home that he did not know whether he and his three grandchildren would live to talk about it.

"It was the worst thing my eyes have ever seen," he said. "When you look at your three grandchildren and know that you may never see them again, it's a hard thing to deal with."

Luckily, everyone was able to escape, but the water destroyed most of Styron's belongings.

"I've lost everything I have in this house," he said.

Officials said 450 homes east of Beaufort in Carteret County are total losses. Four feet of water destroyed most of the items on the first floor of Carol Debose's home.

"The damage here in Davis has just been devastating," she said.

While cleaning up, she did find some words of comfort -- a piece of wood that said, "This too shall pass." Styron echoes a similar sentiment.

"We will rebuild. We will overcome," he said.

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