Weather

Some storm victims find refuge at NC State

Posted April 22, 2011 12:42 p.m. EDT
Updated April 22, 2011 11:33 p.m. EDT

— Four families who have been living in shelters Garner and Wake Forest moved Friday to more permanent quarters on the campus of North Carolina State University.

Susan Grant, NCSU housing director, realized she had some available apartments in the graduate and family housing complex on Jackson Street and welcomed those who needed a roof over their heads.

The deadly tornado that swept through Raleigh April 16 destroyed 138 homes and damaged another 2,269, and repairs could cost residents more than $82 million, according to the city Inspections Department. Damage was greatest in the southeast Raleigh, the southern end of downtown and neighborhoods across the northeast section of the city.

Serita McMillan and her fiance' Johnny Baldwin lost their home in the storm. "The whole top came completely off," she said.

With no place to go, they stayed for a week in a shelter, living sleeping and eating in a crowd. An apartment on State's campus will give them a little privacy. Each comes with cots, a kitchen and a shower. 

Grant said the apartments were available because most student residents moved out while new fire sprinklers were installed. With that work complete, McMillan got an apartment to call her own.

"For now, we have a place to be," McMillan said. "That is a blessing." 
 
Grant said the university expected to accommodate 40 families.

The shelter at Garner United Methodist Church closed Friday evening.

The one at Heritage High School will close Sunday. Crossroads Fellowship, which normally holds church services at Heritage High School, will celebrate Easter Sunday services at their Millbrook Campus, at 2721 Millbrook Road in Raleigh.

At Camp Lejeune, 31 of 52 families displaced from the Tarawa Terrace housing area by Saturday's tornadoes were relocated to new permanent quarters within a week, said base spokesman Nat Fahy. The other 21 families will get be relocated by the first week in May, he said. More than 200 homes on the base were damaged in the storms and inspectors have decided to condemn at least 28, Fahy said.

Employees of Wake County and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are working with the Red Cross to find permanent homes for all of those who lost theirs in the storm.