PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A month after Hurricane Florence made landfall on North Carolina’s coast, many Pender County residents are still in shelters and many of those not in shelters have yet to return to a normal life.
At Monday's meeting of the Pender Board of Commissioners, county Emergency Director Tom Collins said 43 people are still in a Burgaw shelter. Plans for temporary housing areas have been approved by FEMA.
Memories of the devastation created by Florence are fresh for many.
“Every day I drive by the piles (of debris) and say, 'That’s my living room. That’s my baby’s toys.' The clothes, it’s all sitting there," said Pender County resident Lauren Hickey. "It’s not just my stuff out there. I see other people that have remodeled their homes recently. On Saturday, I drove by this woman on the porch and I want to pull in her driveway and give her a hug because she’s going through the same thing I am. She just got that beautiful porch out there and they would sit out there every morning. It’s just devastating to see the community come apart that way.”
The county has collected 3,674 cubic yards of construction and demolition debris and more than 248,700 cubic yards of vegetative debris.
Estimated damage in Pender from Florence is $268 million.
Permits and water quality testing done by the county will be offered free of charge and residents can place temporary housing units on their property, then visit the county to get "after the fact" permits. People can stay up to 180 days in a temporary housing shelter on their property within Pender County limits.
Residents are encouraged to call an electrician to install a temporary power pole, which must be rented from a contractor. The county isn’t providing them.
All questions regarding rebuilding should be directed to the county’s building inspectors. Call the Hampstead line at 910-270-5006 or the Burgaw line at 910-259-1524 between 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.