Dare County fishing village unites amid Irene's damage

After Hurricane Irene's wrath, there isn't much that can be salvaged from Janelle Parish's home in the fishing village of Wanchese.

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WANCHESE, N.C. — After Hurricane Irene’s wrath, there isn’t much that can be salvaged from Janelle Parish’s home in the fishing village of Wanchese.

“I’m used to taking care of everything in the scheme of my family. I’m the fixer in my family,” Parrish said Thursday. “I said to somebody today, ‘I can’t fix this.’ It’s very uncomfortable for me.”

With no place to stay, Parish and her family have taken refuge at Bethany United Methodist Church in Wanchese.

“It’s kind of like a clubhouse for this youth group, and they haven’t been here for awhile so they let us stay here,” Parrish said.

For Parrish's three grandchildren and stepson, the situation isn’t too bad, but Parrish finds it surreal.

“It’s awkward,” she said.

The volunteers at Bethany United Methodist Church are making the temporary home as comfortable as possible, even doing the family's laundry.

Community and faith-based groups have been using the church as a staging center to get aid to the residents of Wanchese.

“We certainly want to help out every way we can,” Bethany United Pastor Jerome Smith said.

Groups have been handing out cleaning supplies and, in some cases, helping people clean their homes.

Parrish said she is “unbelievably grateful” for the help.


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