Editor’s Note: It is times like this our Writer’s Collective becomes all the more important. It provides a chance for women living in all parts of the state, to share their experiences and bare witness in their own words. Kim Pevia took time out of rescuing neighbors and protecting her own wellbeing to share with us what she’s seeing on the ground in eastern North Carolina. In her words, “it’s worse than Matthew” and that alarms us.
Reporting from Kim Pevia, Women AdvaNCe Writer’s Collective and Leadership Team Member
Here we go again. Not two years after Hurricane Matthew we are in the throws of Hurricane Florence. We haven’t even recovered from the last one. Robeson County is among the poorest in the state and the nation. We knew it was coming, but many people could not afford to evacuate. Many had to stay in their homes and eventually be rescued by boat as flood water from poor drainage systems and poorly managed river systems rose to levels that threatened not only property but in some cases life itself.
Shelters here are bursting at the seams, some community leaders opening their own shelters to take care of their communities because the county leadership did not think a shelter there was necessary. Not enough food, nor drinking water and the water that’s flooded us is potentially filled with hog waste, Gen X and coal ash.
Flooding is always a disaster. Flooding when you are in poverty is insurmountable. Social media, while keeping us informed has also born witness to cries for help from desperate families who need rescuing and once rescued need help for survival. There are power outages everywhere, power lines down – keeping communities and families from getting to each other. We are Robeson County Strong and we will take care of each other, until the Interstate and roads are open and help can get in. If you want to support us, do it though folks who are on the ground. The need is immediate and real. No time for bureaucracy or paperwork in a county that is poor and most don’t have $15 to their name.