The crowd of workers helping residents in the Dry Creek community has slimmed down quite a bit since the Aug. 5 flood threatened lives and destroyed property and homes, but more assistance is on the way and that process has already started.
Samaritan’s Purse, a North Carolina based agency that provides relief of all kinds in the U.S. and across the world, started assessing homes and properties this week to see what help residents need.
Tony McNeil, a program manager for the faith-based relief organization, said volunteers will be at work sites this week helping residents tear out and rehab homes damaged by the flood.
“We’re out doing assessments and seeking out homeowners who need assistance due to the flood,” McNeil said after evaluating the home of Bill and Wanalynn Chapman, who live on Dry Creek and own a miniature horse farm that sustained severe damage.
“What we’re offering and what we’re able to deliver are complete gut outs, which is what we’re going to be doing to Mr. Chapman’s home here. We have tree removal, removal of mud, silt, rock, debris, various numbers of things,” he said.
Homes with water damage must be thoroughly cleaned to ensure mold doesn’t start growing, McNeil said.
“The water damage is there. The mud needs to be removed and there is also a mold remediation treatment we apply to prevent the growth of the mold, which causes health problems.
Mud and silt from Dry Creek also now sits atop residents’ lawns. McNeil said that will also be removed or residents will never be able to grow grass again.
“Grass won’t grow on that,” McNeil said.
Based on the biblical parable of the Good Samaritan, the organization takes to heart the message of that scripture — Jesus described how the Samaritan helped a man who had been passed over by others who did not help. The scripture says Jesus told the people gathered to hear him preach they should “go and do likewise.”
That’s what Samaritan’s Purse has been doing over the last 40 years, according to its website.
Franklin Graham, son of Rev. Billy and Ruth Graham, is president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse.
To volunteer with Samaritan’s Purse, call Boone Trail Baptist Church at 282-1341. Samaritan’s Purse has based its operations out of that location on Carroll Creek Road.
Local volunteers can show up there at 7:30 in the morning. Volunteers must go through an orientation process and site-specific safety briefing. Those are conducted each day at 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Work is also in progress at Buffalo Mountain Camp, where there was approximately $3 million in damage to buildings, infrastructure and the road.
The county has already made temporary repairs to the road, which is owned by the county, and there is now electrical service and partial water service to the site.
Executive Director Jason Onks said he and other camp officials are still assessing the damage and the board of directors met this week to appoint several committees.
“All have very specific jobs around this particular event and our path forward,” he said. A task force will evaluate all incoming information from state and local officials and those associated with the Methodist Association.
The camp still isn’t in a position to let volunteers into the camp to start working, but Onks said there are plenty of people who want to help.
“We’ve had nearly 300 volunteers sign up through our website and that’s such an incredible blessing,” he said. “We are still at the point of continuing to assess. We do certainly have safety issues around some of the facilities with downed trees, trees that are partially down, there are still the landslide issues … that cannot be cleaned up,” yet.
People can still volunteer to help at the camp and make donations on the website at www.buffalomountaincamp.org. Onks said that is the best way for people to keep up with what’s going on at the camp for now.