Disaster relief group set back due to travel restrictions of Coronavirus

Disaster relief group set back due to travel restrictions of Coronavirus

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry has helped repair more than 100 homes since Hurricane Florence. There are more families to help on their to-do list, but for now some families will have to wait for help as volunteers are hard to come by.

“We’re used to responding to hurricanes, we’re used to going in and repairing floors that have fallen in," said JC Lyle, Executive Director of WARM. "We’ve seen all kinds of things we have never seen this.”

What she’s talking about are the travel restrictions put in place in fear of the Coronavirus and a growing population of people deciding to self-quarantine. Usually around this time, WARM has an influx of college students from around the country visit SENC to help repair homes. As of Friday, seven of those groups have cancelled their trips.

One of the families on standby is Austin Sholar and his grandmother Mildred Eason. It doesn’t take much to see the damage to the exterior of their home, the roof has major patchwork. Inside the home there are waterlogged floors and a hole in the ceiling from water seeping in.

Sholar said he just wants a better life for his grandmother.

“Heartbreaking in a way to see a house like that, that I grew up in and called my home," said Sholar. "Her own bedroom where she slept is going, the ceiling and the floors have all gone bad. I just want her to be able to use the house again.”

Sholar said no matter how long it takes, he’s grateful to WARM for helping. Lyle says the homes will still get finished, just not in their ideal time frame.

She said work doesn’t stop. They are taking all necessary precautions however, and hopes more local volunteers will step up.

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