WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Fighting a deadline all day, residents of Market North Apartments dealt with the stresses of moving Monday, but luckily, they got some help.
On Oct. 7, Market North residents were informed they had to vacate the property. Oct. 15 was the first deadline day, but that was extended to Oct. 22.
They will be gone for at least 180 days while Market North Apartments are repaired after being damaged during Hurricane Florence.
"I've lived here for 10 years," resident Melissa Pinkoski said. "This is home. This is comfortable to me. It's been so stressful."
That stress was evident Monday as some residents frantically packed up their belongings. More than 700 people live in the community, and more than 75 places at Market North were still occupied on Monday.
"This has been a dire situation," said Annie Anthony, CEO of the Cape Fear Volunteer Center. "These people don't have much family. They don't have cars. They were not expecting to have to move on such short notice,"
The volunteers have been a godsend, according to residents like Pinkoski, who wouldn’t have been able to afford a U-Haul for the move.
"It's a blessing," Pinkoski said. "I am having to take time off work to make this happen. It's so emotional too.
“Luckily, I have found an apartment to go to, but I’ve heard many people have no place to go.”
Anthony said the volunteer center has been able to assist Market North residents with temporary housing and the Red Cross reserved 300 beds for displaced residents.
“By the grace of God and donations, we have been moving people all month,” said Anthony. “But even today, some people are unsure where they will go. Some are living on couches. Some are staying with friends.”
Gail Smith was one of the 75 residents still in her Market North dwelling Monday. She said she had no idea where she would stay Monday night.
"I feel we have just been forgotten and left behind," Smith said. "I wish they could put us up in hotels. I have a storage unit but that's about it."
Market North management released an update on Monday that read, in part: