Hurricanes

Mold, mosquitoes plague Irene victims on NC coast

Posted September 19, 2011
Updated September 20, 2011

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— Unsafe living conditions, mold, mosquitoes and flies are the realities Pamlico County residents are dealing with more than three weeks after Hurricane Irene struck.

Wendy Mayo started looking for neighbors who needed help the day after Irene hit the county with heavy rains and flooding.

"Sometimes the hardest part is deciding who gets helps first today," Mayo said. "When you ride by and you see all this debris on the side of the road, it's almost like people's lives laying on the side of the road."

A volunteer not associated with any agency, Mayo has spent every day since the hurricane struck on Aug. 27 patrolling the roads of Pamlico County, assessing people's needs and getting them help.

"You stop at someone's house, and they say, 'My neighbor needs help more than me. Go help them first,'" she said. FEMA truck How to get help from FEMA

Mayo's found that almost everyone in the Pamlico community of Lowland needs help.

Mark Voliva, his girlfriend and her 5-year-old son are living in a tent in their backyard. Flooding left the floor of their home looking like Swiss cheese.

"We're trying to pick up the pieces right now and figure out what to do," Voliva said.

An 87-year-old man was living alone in a house where visible mold was growing on his TV, Mayo said.

Nearby, mold drove Beverly Brousard out of her home. She fell through the floor while trying to get clothes out of her house.

"You never get that (mold) smell out of them," Brousard said.

She's living in a trailer in her driveway, and mattresses and floor boards are scattered around her front lawn.

"We need help. At the end of the day, the reality is people have got to have a place to live," Mayo said.

Bayboro Baptist Church has become a central hub for volunteers trying to help.

"There's so many in Pamlico County that are displaced, that have nowhere to go," volunteer Miriam Prescott said. "We're a rural county. We don't have apartment buildings. We don't have hotels to speak of. We're in desperate need of housing."

Wendy Mayo Mold plagues Irene victims on NC coast

Some displaced residents initially stayed at a shelter, but many chose to stay behind with relatives to to protect their homes against looters.

A Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman said the agency is doing everything possible to get people into a stable living situation quickly.

The county is also distributing information to residents on mold remediation.

Irene's flooding also left a booming mosquito problem in its wake. The Pamlico County Health Department said workers are spraying to kill mosquitoes.

For herself, Mayo said, she'll remain on patrol "until everybody's got the help they need."

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  • upmchris Sep 20, 2011

    Gov. PERDUE is to busy extending unemployment benifits to the people who dont want to work. maybe they can go down to lowland and work for their check. that would be great to have the folks who dont pay into the system [NO ONE DOES which is kind of strange] actually work for their check that they get from all the other tax paying people in NC

  • Blue Devil 2 Sep 20, 2011

    These people are in desperate need. FEMA, Bev. Perdue need to do something quick. All they care about is the wealthy people and money makers. The wealthy can help themselves. The people in Lowland can not do for themselves. Please help these unfortunate people.

  • emawalton Sep 20, 2011

    It would be nice if the media would put in a little more effort to spread the word about what these people still NEED. Obviously the reporters are there writing about the dire situations these people are in and are talking to them in person. How about finding out how we can help them - i.e., what supplies are most needed by these individuals and what organizations are in place there to coordinate distribution of these items? It's the people of NC who do the most to help each other in these situations... not the government.

  • itsnotmeiswear Sep 20, 2011

    "I just do not understand why these people are not getting the URGENT help they need. It appears that the government cares more about vacation resorts then homes people live in everyday. luptonlisa"

    The priorities in Raleigh and Washington lie with the money. Unfortunately, influence is bought not earned.

  • EyesintheSkies Sep 20, 2011

    You folks don't understand. These people down in Lowland and the surrounding area don't comprise a large voting block. If there was a large constituent component there, Bev and maybe even BO would be there for some photo ops. As it is, it's neighbor helping neighbor and the church doing what it can. The way it has always been.

  • luptonlisa Sep 20, 2011

    I just do not understand why these people are not getting the URGENT help they need. It appears that the government cares more about vacation resorts then homes people live in everyday. Is this really where our priorities as citizens of NC are???

  • luptonlisa Sep 20, 2011

    I just do not understand why these people are not getting the URGENT help they need. It appears that the government cares more about vacation resorts then homes people live in everyday.

  • rjcuddington Sep 20, 2011

    I somehow doubt the Gov's Office will make sure these people are looked after/helped as swiftly as replacing a 2 lane paved road on a sandbar (Hwy 12). Come on Bev, prove me wrong!!!

  • bilge53 Sep 19, 2011

    Let Obama use his gardening gloves and help these people who are doing their best to help themselves. Bev is not to be seen which isn't a surprise because these people are not her rank and file contributors. I personally lost big and can deal with my own situation. Many(Most) of these people cannot but it not for lack of wanting to.

  • IdoNOTliveinDurham Sep 19, 2011

    Where is the fed assistance?

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