Online Originals: Governor Cooper visits Ocracoke Island as clean up efforts continue

Online Originals

It’s been almost three weeks since Hurricane Dorian made landfall on Ocracoke Island.

In those weeks, recovery efforts have been underway. 

According to County Commissioner, Tom Pahl, about 400 homes had water damage. 

Most have been gutted.

Piles of debris still line the streets of the island even though a large amount has been taken to a central dumping location. 

Some residents are without electricity and restaurants and gas stations remain closed.

Although there is still work to be done, residents are optimistic.

Governor Roy Cooper made a visit to the island this afternoon. 

First, he stopped at the Fire Department to address the public. 

His speech focused on the resiliency of the residents and the charm of the island, but he also touched on the federal government’s role in the recovery efforts.

He said two requests have been made of the federal government, one for public assistance, the other for private. 

Both requests are still being reviewed by FEMA. 

If they are approved, they will be sent to the White House to be signed by President Trump.

For the time being, residents of Ocracoke are able to pick up supplies from the fire station. There, they will find food, toiletries, first aid supplies, dog and cat food and many other items.

Ivey Belch is in charge of the distribution of supplies and says Rubbermaid totes are the most needed item at the moment.

“Seems like something small, but so people can have dry storage to take what they have out of their homes because we don’t have a tremendous amount of dry storage on the island,” said Belch. “We’ve probably gone through about 1,500 of them and I could probably have about 2,000-3,000 more coming in.”

Belch said mold remover is another popular item right now.

There is a feeding station set up in the Ocracoke Community Center. 

Volunteers are serving hundreds, even thousands, of meals per day to residents, first responders and construction workers.

As things begin to return to normal, Governor Cooper wants to remind residents that they’re not alone.

“We know that recovery is a long term thing,” said Cooper. “So, know that us being here right now doesn’t mean that we aren’t going to be continuing to work in the weeks and months that are ahead.”

If you are interested in donating supplies, you can send a message to the Ocracoke Disaster Relief Facebook page or send an email to ocracokedisasterrelief@gmail.com.

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