DORTCHES, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s been just over three months since an EF-3 tornado swept through parts of Nash and Edgecombe counties. The storm injured more than a dozen people and damaged several homes and businesses.
“I assume there’s still people that need help, especially with the holidays coming up,” said Claudius Brewer who lives in Dortches. Brewer and his mother were among several families who had homes devastated by the storm at Puckett’s Mobile Village.
“By the time the county and the state got through with their inspections and had to go back and redo things, it took a little longer for us to get in here,” Brewer said.
Brewer said about a couple of weeks ago he and his mother, Helen, returned to their home at the mobile park. They had been living at a motel for about two months. He said challenges with insurance have left the family in debt.
“She did not have the insurance coverage she thought she had on her new home, so they completely totaled the house,” said Brewer. The family said some of his neighbors had faced similar challenges.
A few blocks away off of Town Hall Road, Tammy Peele pointed out the uprooted trees and neighbors’ homes that have been left to just their foundations. Peele has since had her roof and shattered windows repaired but her neighbors still have a long way to go.
Peele said, “There’s still a lot of organizations helping and still people displaced. It’s going to be a hard holiday for some people.”
Peele and others said several groups, churches and neighbors have poured out support since the storm and that effort hasn’t stopped.
Dortches Mayor Jackie Vick said the community is still recovering and those needs continue to be addressed by NC Emergency Services, local United Way and several churches. He said families still needing assistance can reach out and call 211.
Further down the path, Pfizer staff are also still picking up. Employees are hopeful the pharmaceutical plant with 3,000 employees will be at full production by the end of the year.
Some families said there’s also been some comfort as the holidays approach. Peele added, “Thankfully, me, my family and people in my neighborhood are extremely blessed… If I have all my family healthy around the Christmas tree, then that’s better than presents to me at this point in my life.”