Church destroyed by Florence provides location for much needed supplies

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BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — Residents across the area continue to cleanup from Florence, but one Pender County community is especially struggling.

Many people are still lacking basic necessities as they try to protect their houses from more damage and salvage what little belongings they can.

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One church property is being used as a hub for donations and other supplies, but the church itself is in shambles.

“I’ve been coming here for fifty years, as a member on the choir, and it feels tough every time you look at it. Knowing you can’t walk down this aisle,” said Sand Hill AME Church steward Larry Jordan.

The church on Whitestocking Road in Pender County holds a special place in Jordan’s heart.



His father and grandfather helped build it more than 60 years ago.

“It’s actually a tearjerker. But we’re pulling together,” said Jordan.

Hurricane Florence destroyed the church.  Mold covers the walls, and dead fish cover the floor.

“This is probably one of the highest places in this area. So if the water is in here at the ceiling, it’s over most people’s houses,” said Jordan.

Burgaw native Rose Phelps drove through the area on Sunday to check on a family member, and was shocked by the devastation.

She said she had to to something.

“I thought, my gosh, they don’t have anywhere to sit down. They don’t have a bathroom to go to,” said Phelps.

Phelps was able to bring in porta-potties, showers, and other supplies for residents to use at the church.

But she says they still need more help.

“Their homes are having to be gutted, you know, they need manpower, they need help with that. They need gas cards, because a lot of them are having to travel back and forth,” said Phelps.

Phelps says another big issue is laundry, because laundromats are a far drive and can be expensive.

She hopes more people will be able to offer help.