Janelle Conley Cousins watched as volunteers hauled boxes of generators to car trunks owned by victims of Hurricane Florence who’ve been without power for days.
“It’s wonderful to see everyone come together and pitch in,” Cousins said while helping family members waiting in line at the Taylors Bridge Fire Department on Thursday.
The station was one of several locations where generators were distributed Thursday and Friday, thanks to a generous donation from Summit Construction Company. The Chesapeake, Va. business donated 250 generators to residents to Samson County. A request was made to help people who are going through power outages and those with the greatest needs such as being disabled, medical or being elderly.
“This is a scary thing,” Cousins said. “I really feel sorry for the seniors and I think it was nice for them to get generators, water and food. This is wonderful.”
Ray Jordan, a distribution official for Sampson County Emergency Management Services, led the effort at fire departments and rescue centers throughout the area. The others were Garland, Harrells, Turkey and Roseboro. At each building, 50 generators were distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
“We’re trying to help all we can with this generous donation given to us by Summit Construction Construction,” Jordan said.
Fire Chief Alan Williams was also grateful for the help sent by the Virginia company, who worked with county officials.
“There was a lot of people who came who didn’t have food, water or living out of campers or living with residents,” Williams said. “They need all the help they can get. It’s great for somebody to come in, step up and help out. The generators are going to help a lot of people without power.
Jesse Maynor was one of the residents who waited in line for a generator. He showed appreciation for the distribution. Like the others, the Harrells resident is dealing with the stress of Hurricane Florence.
“It’s bad, but it could have been a lot worse,” Maynor said with optimism. “There’s people that are worse off than I am.”
Florence is one of several hurricanes he’s been through. One of them was Hurricane Frances, which sent him to a shelter.
“When I came back home, there was a tree on the house,” Maynor said.
For Maynor, the recent storm is probably one of the worst, he’s encountered with the main issue being flooding. He’s been without power since Thursday.
“Everyone around me had had power off and on, so I’ve been house to house,” Maynor said.
Louis Moore, a Harrells resident from New York, is dealing with issues such as losing food. With garbage collection scheduled for the next day, Moore plans to throw a lot of it away. It’s one of several annoying things with which he’s dealing.
“Running to the car to charge your phone,” Moore said. “You have to keep a phone on.”
County officials were assisted by National Guard soldiers from Bravo Company 1-120th Infantry of Lumberton. Spc. Tristan Morgan enjoyed helping the residents of Sampson County.
“By helping out everybody here, it’s been a real honor and privilege,” Morgan said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.