‘Amazing’ togetherness for storm recovery
By William Holloman
United, we stand; divided, we fall. The aftermath of Florence, the second major hurricane to hit the area in two years, reminded officials of what pulling together is all about.
“The only thing I can adequately say that will describe it all,” said Mount Olive Town Manager Charles Brown, “is what we have just experienced as far as people helping people is absolutely amazing. It is amazing to me to see this community pitch in, not just to help Mount Olive, but other areas too.
“Food and supplies from Mount Olive were shipped out to Wallace and Warsaw and a number of other areas and we are still collecting things that are needed in areas hit much worse than us,” he added.
Brown said Police Chief Tommy Brown has pretty much headed that effort.
Brown said once the urgent need was over here in Mount Olive, Chief Brown arranged to move a 53-foot refrigerated trailer to Duplin County so it could be used to provide food to those in need.
Volunteers with the First Pentecostal Holiness Church of Mount Olive, the town manager said, also served meals here, and prepared meals that were transported to neighboring Duplin County shelters.
“There are folks near us who are far worse off than us, and I applaud this community, our law enforcement, fire, and public works personnel and all others for pitching in to help and get done whatever it took to get through this,” he said.
He said there were water rescues in the streets of Mount Olive when people in vehicles were stranded in flood waters. Police also actually went into homes here that were flooded to retrieve prescription medications for people in shelters.
“This is all really pretty amazing when you think about it,” Brown said.
He also said Sheriff Larry Pierce and Nahunta Pork need to be acknowledged for donating 21 pigs to Wayne County Emergency for shelter distribution. He said 10 of those pigs were donated to Mount Olive and even transported down here by Nahunta Pork in refrigerated vehicles.
The pigs had initially been ordered by Smith Chapel United Methodist Church for an annual fundraiser, but the event had to be cancelled due to the storm.
“Sheriff Pierce immediately donated them for shelter use and he needs to be thanked for it,” said the town manager.