Interim Fire Chief Bob Capehart said although Windsor and the rest of Bertie County didn’t flood, their neighbors in Washington and Beaufort County did.
Windsor sent several volunteer firefighters to the affected areas to help with welfare checks and to make sure people had evacuated flooded homes, Capehart said.
The firefighters also had food prepared at their station to last through the storm. They brought the food, like Brunswick stew, with them to the flooded areas for the local emergency crews, Capehart said.
Mitch Cooper, the emergency services director for Bertie County, was selected to lead an emergency strike team of ambulances to help in the flooded areas in the southeastern part of the state.
Cooper led the team from Bertie, Dare, Pasquotank and Perquimans counties to help in Sampson County, where emergency services had exhausted all of their resources.
The team is planning to be deployed for 14 days and is adding to the help for evacuations, as well as relieving local emergency workers.
“This has been a major task for northeast North Carolina and has been an honor to come here and serve,” Cooper said.
Hoggard said people whose homes flooded in 2016 were eligible for state and federal aid. Two years later, they’re finally close to getting it.
“We’ve stayed on top of it, that’s just how long it takes,” Hoggard said. “We should be in a position to pay in the next two or three months.”
He said a lot of the people whose homes were damaged were already without means and have been staying with relatives or renting homes since the flooding. The area that flooded also housed a lot of small businesses and offices, which are not eligible for aid. The only option for them was loans, he said.
For small towns that were flooded during Hurricane Florence, Hoggard recommends hiring outside help.
“We hired consultants that knew how to navigate state and federal agencies,” he said. “There’s a tremendous amount of work starting from time the water recedes.”
He said the town is sending thoughts and prayers to the flooded towns, especially because they know what they’re going through first hand.