Local News

Floyd's Floods Affecting People Sheltered Before the Storm

Posted October 3, 1999

— Hundreds of people are still living in shelters since Hurricane Floyd destroyed their homes. But there are those that called shelters home even before the storm. Now, the hard times are getting even harder for victims of domestic violence and the homeless.

When a natural disaster hits, it affects everyone in the community. Some people are more vulnerable during these times because their lives are already in crisis.

Flooding from Floyd damaged many women's shelters in eastern North Carolina. They need help repairing their homes and their hearts.

The Lighthouse of Wayne County houses homeless women and victims of domestic violence. Its basement was flooded after Floyd. Like many shelters across the state it lost food, clothing and other important supplies.

For clients in crisis, Floyd was yet another blow.

"To me it seems like a double stressor to the domestic violence victim, because you have the natural disaster, but you already have a disaster in your life to deal with," says shelter director Barbara Arnold.

"People were depressed somewhat, but we're so thankful it didn't take the roof off or blow a tree down on us," says shelter resident Pat Flowers.

Shelter resident Co Stewart moved to North Carolina from Illinois five weeks ago. For her, the storm and its aftermath were traumatic, but survivable.

"It could have been worse, people can die from hurricanes you know. If I lost where I was living and I still had me and my son, I'd be thanking God for at least that," she says.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is collecting toiletries and linens for women's shelters in the eastern part of the state.

You can drop off donations at Interact at 600 Wade Avenue in Raleigh. If you live in eastern North Carolina, you can donate to the shelters directly. Many are also in need of food, clothing and baby supplies.

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