RICHLANDS, N.C. (WNCT) — As many may have heard and seen, parts of Middle Tennessee experienced catastrophic flooding, destroying homes and even taking lives. Now, one group from Eastern North Carolina took it upon themselves to travel to our neighboring state to assist in any way needed.
Many have described the images and stories coming out of Middle Tennessee as a nightmare. The messages coming out of the destruction have reached the hearts of many, including a local non-profit here in the ENC.
“You go into this with a sense of dread but also with an amazing amount of hope,” said Allan Garry, the NC Leader for the Marco Patriots.
Hope. A word many are struggling to hold onto. Towns like Waverly and Dickson across Middle Tennessee were met with devastation as historic floods surged at rapid speeds. Survivors saying:
“I had people coming for me, and I am one lucky girl,” said Ginger Buchanan, a flood victim.
The floods quickly gained national attention. That brings us back here, to Eastern North Carolina.
“It was a tidal wave of emotions on both ends,” said Garry.
They are called ”the Marco Patriots,” a disaster relief non-profit. Allan Garry is the North Carolina leader. He says, their decision to help assist was an easy one.
“It’s hard because we know the sad facts. We know that after a certain time frame, the likelihood of a live recovery is slim to none,” said Garry. “You never want to let go of that glimmer of hope.”
He describes the emotion on the ground as solemn, but optimistic.
“When you see it, your heart goes out to it.”
Garry and his team made sure to provide search and rescue assistance, water and food services, and emotional support.
“We canvassed the neighborhood, went down to a creek bed, and when they interacted with the local populace and let the kids pet the dog,” said Garry.
Locals noting that life or death decisions became the forefront of their focus.
“And I told my daughter I said, ‘I don’t know if I am getting out of this, but I am not giving up,” said Buchannan.
Garry noting that through it all, they began to see the community find that hope yet again.
“Still seeing that positive attitude and that positive push forward, it’s almost contagious and almost addicting,” said Gary.
The Marco Patriots are already prepping to head to Louisiana to assist with rescue needs as Ida blows through.