Snow January 10th 2011, a rare event here in South Eastern NC.
As we sat in our homes watching the weather reports and following the news reports, we would talk and reminisce about past hurricanes and how Matthew would compare. Many said by the time it gets to the Carolina’s it will only be a category one or a tropical storm, the major damage would be done.
Here we are a week later and we are still under flood warnings, yes the sky’s are beautiful and nice cool breeze and without power for thousands, no drinking water and homes under water, this is a small blessing.
I was on my computer Thursday night and I saw a notification from our Pastor Jeff at Lifepoint Church, he needed one more truck to take supplies to Lumberton, NC. I looked at my Mother and told her about the request, I said; you & Dad would have done this. It only took me seconds to respond, I have a truck and I can help. Being raised by parents who were always giving back to the community I knew this was something I needed to do.
Friday morning I was up early and getting ready to leave, while I was waiting for my kureg to brew my coffee I checked my email on my phone. The email I saw gave me chills.. The subject line read; Old Chambers Photographers Postcard.
I am writing a book about Route 6 in Pennsylvania, and was thinking about using a mid-1960s postcard published by Chambers Photographers of Williamsport. The postcard was made by Dexter Press. It is an areal view of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I-81, and US 6 in Clark Summit, PA. I did an internet search on who may own the copyright, came across your website, and suspected that this may have been your dad’s company. If it is, I was wondering if you knew who I should contact to ask permission before using the image.
My Dad passed away 13 years ago, I have blogged about how he has helped the communities and you can read that under The Tarheel Photographer The significance in that to me is that I was heading out to continue his legacy and I felt like he knew.
I arrived at Lifepoint at 6:45am loading up the truck with the remaining water bottles, diapers, baby wipes, toiletries, everything you might need when your displaced from your home. It didn’t take long as everyone pitched in and had it loaded in no time!
We then headed out of Wilmington in our caravan of trucks and trailers full of supplies, heading to Hyde Park Baptist Church. We made it there without any problems, once we arrived I was impressed to find how organized they were. When we pulled in we were told where to go, and immediately welcomed. Everyone you know had been working long hours and tirelessly to help others, however they all had smiles on their face and so happy to see the help arrive from Wilmington.
In the Parking lot of the Church sits the Manna One, the largest disaster relief kitchen, capable of making up to 30,000 hot meals in 24 hours. As we watched cars line up for as far as you could see, I couldn’t help but notice that the cars were from all walks of life, Hurricane Matthew didn’t discriminate. As I stood there and cars were filing in, two lines for a warm meal and supplies it was so emotional. You didn’t know if they were coming because they lost their homes, because they didn’t have power or water, but you know for some they had to put aside their pride to care for their family in away they never had before. This is just a little more than an hour from where I live, I felt tears falling down my cheeks, my heart was breaking, yet everyone you talked to had such a good positive attitude, what they had was faith.
While in Lumberton, we drove over I-95 and it was completely abandoned, this busy highway connecting the north to the south was eerily quiet where it had been shut down from the flood. And as you will see in the pictures homes, barns, businesses and vehicles under flood water. Keep in mind this is a week later, the water has receded some in this area, while in some areas of NC it continues to rise.
The Devastation of Matthew is record breaking, at least 38 lives lost in North Carolina to date. It will take a long time to recover, not weeks months but years. It will take communities coming together, people coming out of their comfort zone to help one another. Just because the news goes on to the next big story we must not forget about our neighbors.