Local News

Florida Guard Builds Tent City in Triangle

Posted September 10, 1996 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Governor Jim Hunt is asking everyone who can to help clean up the aftermath of Hurricane Fran, and some of those volunteering are from outside North Carolina. The problem is, most hotel and motel rooms are full of people who evacuated from the coast, and these volunteer workers have had no quarters to call their own.

Now, however, there will be plenty of room. In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, the Florida National Guard began putting up a tent city that will hold about 500 beds.

Guard members were hard at work near the state fairgrounds erecting the temporary quarters immediately after arriving here. To them, the heaving, lifting and staking is all in a days work.

One Guardsman said they've already built tent cities several times this year.

By Tuesday afternoon, unwelcome rain began to fall once again on the already-saturated Triangle, but that didn't stop the tens from going up. Volunteers from the Huffman Impact Youth Center showed up to reinforce the Florida Guard.

A spokesman for that group says they were already prepared when they got the call to head for Raleigh.

In all, 40 Impact volunteers came with a goal to erect ten tents, then head back home. Several workers say they are really motivated to help out.

These tents will be used to provide sleeping accommodations for all those who have traveled to the Triangle to assist with clean-up and rescue operations. Any room left over may be offered up to others with no place to stay.

By the end of the day, only 17 of the 50 hoped-for tents were fully erected. The deluge of rain halted work.