Coastal residents anxious to get home

Posted August 29, 2011

— Some storm victims who left their homes in the wake of Hurricane Irene's impact on North Carolina Saturday say they are anxious to get back to their homes so they can assess the damage that the Category 1 storm caused.

About 112 people – most of them from hard-hit Hyde and Tyrrell counties along the coast – were staying at an American Red Cross shelter at Englewood Baptist Church Monday morning, including Lloyd Liverman.

"I've been here ever since Thursday," Liverman, of Tyrrell County, said. "I don't know anything about my property or whatever. They said they were going to pick us up Sunday, but I'm still here."

Emergency management officials in Tyrrell County haven't said when residents will be allowed back in their homes. The county chartered buses last week to carry residents to safety as part of a voluntary evacuation.

"I haven't heard anything (about going home)," said Vernice Gibbs, also from Tyrrell County. "I asked them, but they didn't know."

The American Red Cross says it is working to open a shelter closer to Tyrrell County for storm victims, but organizers say that their priority, right now, is keeping people safe.

Tyrrell County's emergency management officials say they are waiting for damage assessment teams to survey the area before bringing residents home. Those teams are scheduled to arrive Tuesday.

Vernice Gibbs Coastal residents anxious to get home

Gov. Bev Perdue, who made a stop at the shelter Monday morning while surveying storm damage across the state, said emergency response teams across the state are working hard to respond to the residents' needs.

Meanwhile Monday morning, power crews raced to restore electricity to about 8,500 customers in Nash County. Crews were also out cleaning up debris from the storm.

Initial storm damage estimates amount to about $2.5 million, which the county will have to pay for. Right now, Perdue is only seeking a federal disaster declaration for seven coastal counties – Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico and Tyrrell.

She says, however, that more counties might be added as emergency management teams continue to assess damage across the eastern third of the state.

The federal government already approved an emergency declaration in 34 counties that gave local governments federal money to help them prepare before Hurricane Irene struck Saturday.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • fayncmike Aug 30, 2011

    They wouldn't have to be anxious to get home if they had the brains to not leave in the first place.

    Remember, the government cannot force folks to leave but they can prevent them from returning. No way on the face of the earth would those people ever get me to leave my home!

  • mpheels Aug 30, 2011

    barbstillkickin, this article is about Tyrrell county. It is one of the poorest and least populous counties in the state. For the most part, the only tourism dollars come from people stopping to get gas or groceries on the way to the beach. Most people in the county are year round residents, working either on farms or in fishing. There are very few vacation rentals, and the few that exist have only been rentals for a few years.

  • barbstillkickin Aug 30, 2011


  • mpheels Aug 30, 2011

    Same here jbp1958 - I'm from Columbia, live in Chapel Hill now. My clock radio woke me up on Saturday just as they reporters were talking about the tornado hitting Columbia. I've seen a few pictures of the flood waters, and I'm blown away. I know it hasn't flooded like that in at least 65 years because my grandparent's house had water in it for the first time since they bought it in the 1940's.

  • 2alegal Aug 30, 2011

    I know how these folks feel. I survived Fran. 13 days in shelter then another 13 days without power. What a time. Good luck folks. Know that you are not alone.

  • jbp1958 Aug 30, 2011

    Thank you, WRAL for this story. I am a Columbia native living in Rocky Mount. My heart broke when you aired this story yesterday. I have known these people all my life. My daughter and I rushed to the shelter to see if we could help in any way. They were glad to see someone from home. We are going back today.

  • soyousay Aug 29, 2011

    daisy and ketmit...

    been here long? old enough to remember Fran or floyd?

  • DaisyMae Aug 29, 2011

    Hello Kermit60...I don't see spending $2Million either. I went back and re-read the article and I take it as saying there was damages in excess of $2.5. I sure would like to see a list of items/services that make up the total of $2.5....wouldn't you? Just talking and sharing thoughts.

  • Milkman Aug 29, 2011

    Government's are awesome at picking a huge budget and then spending more than that. They'll line their pockets and those of their brothers and cousins. Yes, there's a lot of debris in Rocky Mount, and residents who pay city taxes expect to put it by the curb and have it picked up, that's what they have been told their city taxes are supposed to do.

  • kermit60 Aug 29, 2011

    It's hard for me to believe that a town the size of Rocky Mount is going to spend 2 million on debri removal. Seems like every town, farmer, homeowner etc, that had as much as a trash can turn over thinks they are entitled to some free assistance. Of course the govoner is quick to say yes because thats what politicians do. Tehy are so good at spending other peoples money even when we are already broke.