Elderly woman displaced from storm forced to move to Raleigh


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — More than 50 Hurricane Florence victims remain at the Red Cross shelter in Wilmington.

One of those victims is 85-year-old Mary Criss, who was evacuated from the Cape Fear Hotel Apartments.

- Advertisement -

“Flabbergasted. It was was crazy right there because that is 93 people they were trying to get out of that building,” said Criss. “So the firemen would just take one down, go back, get another one, take them down. I am so glad they were there. I wouldn’t have known what to do.”

Criss has been in limbo ever since. She has been moved to four different shelters over the last seven weeks. She remains in good spirits and says she is grateful for the Red Cross.

“I was one of the lucky ones. Red Cross has been a great help. If you just need to talk, they’ll come sit with you and talk to you. It makes me feel a lot better,” said Criss.

Now, after decades of calling Wilmington home, Criss will have to move hours away to Raleigh while her apartment complex makes repairs. The Cape Fear Hotel Apartments is an affordable housing options for seniors, but sustained damage from Florence.

“It is so amazing to me that these people don’t even know you,” Criss said. “They don’t even know what you’re about. But they have their hand out there to help you up. I love that.”

The apartment complex is working on moving Criss into an apartment in Raleigh, but she is on the waiting list. Despite it all, Criss remains in good spirits and says she is grateful for everything the community has done.

WWAY reached out to the complex about their rebuild but we have not heard back.