Hurricane Florence blew through Sampson County last week, and following behind were hundreds of emergency personnel and utility linemen to assist in the wake of the destruction.
While staying in Sampson, those reponders and linemen are in need of shelter, food and other items to make their stay more comfortable.
Clinton Community Church on Sunset Avenue is being utilized as a base camp to provide shelter, food and laundry service for emergency responders assisting during the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. According to the church’s pastor, Dwight Dunning, people from all across the country have made the trip to Sampson County to help with the recovery efforts.
While Dunning says he doesn’t know the exact nature of any of the responder’s assignments, he does know there are people working in swift rescue missions, with the emergency medical personnel and as security.
“These men and women have come in from all different areas of the country,” Dunning shared. “I know there are people here from California, Massachusetts, Washington D.C. and even other areas of our state that were impacted by Hurricane Florence.”
Each day, Dunning said, the groups are sent on a mission. Some return later in the evening, while others are out until the job is done.
“One group left yesterday morning, and they haven’t returned,” Dunning said. “They leave and I don’t know where they have gone or what they are doing.”
While staying at the church, the men and women are in need or bedding, food and laundry services. Volunteers like pastor Carley Moore, children’s pastor, come every day to help in any way needed.
“I live in Mount Olive, and I have my own damage from the storm,” Moore said. “But, there is a need here. Me and my family come everyday to help in anyway possible. At night, I take care of my family.”
The responders have been occupying the gym and classroom areas at the church.
“This is a place where they can stay, rest, get some food and get their laundry done,” Dunning explained.
For many of the responders, despite feeling their own devastation from the hurricane, they wanted to give back to Sampson and its residents for the many times locals have come to their rescue.
Another group of “laundry ladies” — Linemen Laundry Volunteers and Linelife Foundation out of Kansas City — gathered this week to provide services to four different linemen crews, including MasTec, Wright Tree Service, SPE Safety and AWP.
The group of 20-30 volunteers gathered at Soap City Laundromat on Morisey Boulevard, who was allowed to stay open past the city’s curfew to allow volunteers to wash, dry and fold clothes.
Approximately 52 loads of laundry were done and 27 people were assisted. Supplies were also donated for the crew members, including toiletries, socks, underwear, T-shirts, drinks, Gatorade and bottled water.
The volunteers continue to wash loads of laundry during the day and night to help the linemen while they are temporarily located in Sampson County.