Onslow County nonprofit making progress in rebuilding homes that were damaged during Hurricane Florence

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RICHLANDS, N.C. (WNCT) — A nonprofit in Onslow County is making progress in rebuilding homes that were damaged during Hurricane Florence.   

Onslow Strong Disaster Recovery Alliance was created following the damage from the 2018 storm. Its purpose is to help residents in those recovery efforts. 

Richlands resident Beatrice Nina Mills spoke with 9OYS about the progress that is impacting her life. 

“It had started with the top of the roof had started leaking, because it’s a very old home. And then it started with the walls puffing out,” said Mills.  

Mills’ home was the first demolished in the program to make way for a brand new one coming soon. Onslow Strong Disaster Recovery Alliance, Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry and Rebuild NC are some of the players at hand that made this happen. Officials for those organizations say because of the pandemic, production times slowed down because of funding being diverted. 

“A lot of people don’t realize we still got hundreds of our Onslow County residents not in their homes because they’re unsafe or unhealthy. So, we have been working to identify those people,” said Board Chair for Onslow Strong Disaster Recovery Alliance Raquel Painter. 

Co-chair of the Unmet Needs Department, Rev. Doris Petteway, said she is thankful these organizations could come together to make this happen.

“We’re so thankful that the different agencies were able to come together, that we’re able to come as one and the same focus point is to help the citizens of the Onslow Jacksonville community,” said Petteway. 

Petteway said if this applies to you, you can visit the WARM website to find out more information and fill out an application.  She said she hopes more people who are affected put in applications. 

“We hope that those who are not yet putting applications we’re looking forward, we want you to put in applications so that we’ll be able to be that extended, reaching arm to help someone out,” said Petteway. 

Petteway said they’re going to start the rebuilding process as soon as possible. That way Mills can be officially moved in over the next six to eight months. 

Mills says she can’t wait to walk through her new home for the first time. 

“I just picture it. I have to take my time and breathe slowly,” said Mills. “You just don’t know how happy I will be because it’s been a long time” 

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