Three years after Hurricane Florence, there is still much work to be done

New Bern

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — Hurricane Florence made landfall on September 14, 2018. Three years later, survivors, are still recovering. There are thousands of people still living in damaged homes with mold and fallen roofs.

The Craven County Disaster Recovery Alliance has provided relief to families hit by natural disasters since Hurricane Matthew hit in 2016. Director of Operations at the CCDRA, Kristy Kulberg, is a survivor of Florence herself. After she was given relief by volunteers in the community, she wanted to pay it forward.

“Three years after a storm, a storm tends to be forgotten, and for the people living this, the storm is not forgotten,” Kulberg said. “We have people living in moldy homes, people still displaced from the storm. We have people living on the couches of their family, or even worse, in their car.”

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She continued that the community is still in need of funding and volunteers, and the work is far from over.

“People here are so amazing, and the recovery is just astounding to us, to see how people banded together,” she said.

Case Manager Medelien Puckett said the CCDRA tries to help families of lower incomes who are in need of the most help.

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“If you ask them, they would say, ‘Oh you know, people have had it much worse than us, we’re very happy to have our home repaired’,” Puckett said.

She explained the repairs they are making will allow the family to live safely in their home.

“The roof has been repaired, they’ve had windows being put in and then drywalls in the wall and the ceilings inside are actually being replaced as well,” said Puckett.

All of the work is volunteer-based. Americorps provided volunteers to help with projects in the area for absolutely no cost.

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“This is a very humbling experience for my team, a lot of them have not been in hurricanes or disaster, period, so seeing the impact that they’re making is really amazing for them, we are very glad to be here,” Puckett said

The house the CCDRA worked on is expected to be complete by the end of this week. Kulberg said they know of 500 survivors still in need of help, but she suspects there are many, many more.

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