Local News

Donations Pouring into Flood Relief Center

Posted September 24, 1999

— People and businesses all over the country are pitching in to help victims of flooding in North Carolina. A warehouse in Rocky Mount is proof of their generosity.

Donations are coming into the old Lowe's store in Rocky Mount -- now serving as a relief center -- as fast as volunteers can sort them, box them and load them into trucks.

"I was real lucky," says volunteer Bob Douglas. "I live on a side of Rocky Mount that's far from the river and there's no trees so I had almost no cleanup, so that's why I feel I need to be out here doing something like this."

There is enough food, water, and clothing to fill the relief center. Truckloads of supplies are sent out every day to pick-up centers.

"As you know, most people in this area lost everything, in the Leggett Road-Hillsdale area. But the bottom line is, we will survive," says Elbert Lee, a pastor at a local church that is serving as a pick-up center.

Inside the church, more volunteers are putting together packages of food for local families. More than 2,000 flood victims have picked up donations here since Thursday.

"I think it's great to be able to pick up something anywhere," says Cornelia Harris of Tarboro. "I'm 81 years old and I never have seen this much flooding in all my years."

The building was completely empty on Tuesday. Since then, it has been filled up and emptied many times. Donations are pouring in so fast, that organizers put a second warehouse on hold.

Volunteers say they will stay on the job as long as there are people in need.

Organizers are expecting another huge shipment of supplies from a NASCAR fund-raiser on Wednesday.

More than a week-and-a-half after Hurricane Floyd, more flood victims are leaving shelters and returning to their homes. About 2800 people are still being housed in 29 emergency shelters across North Carolina. At one point, that number was 40,000 people.

As many as 600 roads remain closed, either covered in water or washed out. And the number of homes and businesses without electricity is still at about 7800. And many places are still without running water.


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