‘Home for the Holidays’ to Help First Responders & Veterans Affected by Florence

-Press Release, Carolina Loggers Association

When Hurricane Florence slammed into North Carolina on September 14, 2018, as a category 1 rainmaker, it was clear that damage to the already rain-soaked state would be immense. As the state continues the recovery process, two groups – the Carolina Loggers Association’s Logs for the Cause and NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation’s United2gether – have joined forces with the St. Bernard Project (SBP) to help first responders and veterans impacted by the storm get one step closer to a Home for the Holidays.

“Every gift given through both the Logs for the Cause and United2gether campaigns between now and January 31, 2019, will go toward SBP’s efforts to rebuild homes for first responders and veterans throughout North Carolina who were impacted by Hurricane Florence,” said Ewell Smith, executive director of the Carolina Loggers Association. “While those affected have long since returned to work, the impact from this storm will be felt for years to come. The logging community in NC – one that was hit especially hard by the storm – is close-knit; we believe in giving back and paying it forward, and helping to kick-start the rebuilding process is the perfect place to start.”

“Recovery is a collaborative effort,” noted SBP co-founder and CEO Zack Rosenburg. “Through this partnership, SBP will be able to provide a predictable path home for disaster-impacted families of veterans and first responders in North Carolina. This is a great example of Americans rallying together for other citizens during times of great need.  We believe that this partnership is an example of the seldom discussed, but ever-present ties that bind us together.”

“Growing up in Eastern North Carolina and seeing first-hand the devastation of Hurricane Florence was heartbreaking,” commented Paige Keselowski. “Immediately following the storm, we created the United2gether campaign to support first responders in affected areas. Teaming up with the Carolina Loggers Association and SBP USA on the Home for the Holidays program is a great way for us to continue our support of first responders and veterans that are still dealing with the impact of the storm.”

The Home for the Holidays program is actively seeking building products partners to assist in the rebuilding efforts. Please contact Carolina Loggers Association executive director Ewell Smith at [email protected] for more information.

Rebuilding Hope Volunteers Help Hurricane Florence Victims

-Information courtesy the Rebuilding Hope, Inc. October 2018 newsletter

Teams of Rebuilding Hope (RHI) volunteers assisted with cleanup in Elm City on September 20 following a tornado spawned by Hurricane Florence and in Warsaw on September 22 with cleanup from the hurricane.

In another disaster relief effort, RHI called for donations of cleaning supplies, paper products, nonperishable foods and other essentials for hurricane victims. On September 22, the supplies were delivered to the Core City FWB Church in Craven County, a collection site for Craven and Jones County victims.

“The response,” says RHI coordinator Randolph Wilson, “enabled us to nearly fill one of our trucks. We met people in dire need of help, and they’re going to need help for a long time to come.”

Volunteers Leo Suitte and Steve Lyles equip a trailer with chainsaws, generator and other items needed to help Hurricane Florence victims. (Photo Credit: Rebuilding Hope, Inc.)

To further assist victims, RHI is working on plans to assist repairing homes. A partnership would be with either North Carolina Baptist Men or a local church in eastern North Carolina.

RHI began preparing to offer assistance to hurricane victims as the path of the hurricane was announced.

Within days, two tool trailers were outfitted with chainsaws, generators, ladders, ropes and chains, safety equipment and a variety of tools. A tractor and skid steer loader were serviced and readied for use.

As the path of the storm veered away from local communities, volunteers looked toward helping storm-ravaged communities in other parts of the state and waited for a call.

Gearing up for this kind of mission is a first for Rebuilding Hope.

“We have the equipment, and volunteers are eager to help,” RHI coordinator Randolph Wilson says.

“We can’t do much where the hurricane hit until the water recedes,” he says. “Then we’ll connect with others at operation centers.”

RHI’s mission is always Christ-centered.

“When we serve, we want victims to know that we come in the name of and with the love of Jesus,” Randolph says.

NCHSAA Announces Collective Hurricane Florence Relief Effort

-Press Release, NCHSAA

In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence and devastating flooding across the state, Commissioner Que Tucker and the NCHSAA Board of Directors has requested NCHSAA member schools designate a contest or contests during the period from October 1-19, 2018, as a Hurricane Florence Relief Assistance Contest(s).

Member schools are asked to participate by collecting money at any home contest during that window and then forward those monies to the Association, which will act as a clearinghouse. All money will be divided and sent to Local Education Agencies in the counties that have been designated as disaster areas and were federally approved for individual assistance.

The NCHSAA Board of Directors has approved matching funds up to $25,000 to add to the money collected during the drive-by member schools for Hurricane Florence Relief Games. Funds distributed to affected LEA’s would be available to help member schools as determined by local school administrators.

“Many of NCHSAA member schools in Eastern North Carolina received a devastating blow from Hurricane Florence and we want to do our part to help during this time of need,” said NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker. “After Hurricane Floyd and most recently Hurricane Matthew, we called upon member schools to help those in the hardest hit areas. Once again, we are asking each member school and its community to join together in helping those most impacted by this disaster.”

In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, NCHSAA member schools–helped by a matching contribution authorized by the Association Board members–were able to donate over $44,000 to LEA’s in the most affected areas. In the case of Hurricane Floyd, the NCHSAA collected donations at statewide regional meetings and also provided a matching donation.

“Great things are possible when we all work together,” Commissioner Que Tucker said. “Even in the wake of tremendous devastation, our member schools are a focal point of the effort to rebuild and return their communities to normalcy. Whether they were serving as emergency shelters or providing a rallying point for community donations, NCHSAA members always do whatever is necessary to support those in need. We are proud of them for their sense of community and are eager to see what we can do together, this time around!”

Once a school has decided to when and how to participate, they are asked to contact NCHSAA Assistant Commissioner James Alverson with the details of their plans. Information sent will be posted and updated on a web page detailing the efforts from across the state. Hurricane Florence Relief Game schedules will be updated at this link on the NCHSAA Website.

Granville Co. Provides Relief to Hurricane Victims, First Responders

-Press Release, County of Granville

Granville County emergency responders have been assisting storm-ravaged North Carolina areas as recovery efforts are underway.

Deployed to Jones County was Granville County Emergency Services Director Doug Logan, who is part of the N.C Emergency Management Central Branch Overhead Incident Management Team. This task force helped coordinate the disaster response in Jones County, based in the Trenton area, where there was record flooding along the Trent River. Many residents of the county had to be rescued by fire, EMS and Sheriff’s Office personnel, Logan reported, and emergency staff members had been on duty around the clock since before the storm even made landfall, making preparations and responding to calls for assistance.

The Central Branch Team was air-lifted into the area by helicopter to find the majority of Jones County cut off from surrounding areas by flood waters, without electricity or telephone service. The county water system had completely failed and the only food sources for the citizens were what little stocks they had left in pantries.

Jones County Task Force

“We had assets from all over North Carolina – as well as New York, California, Vermont, Arizona – all there to assist through the National Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC),” Logan noted. “Additional resources arrived daily to assist in the response and relief efforts, while military air assets dropped food and water supplies to be distributed to isolated communities.”

As of Wednesday, September 19, the rivers were starting to recede and approximately 60 percent of the county remained without power as water pressure made a slow and steady return. Local drinking water sources will likely remain unsafe for several weeks, due to flooded wells and contaminated water treatment plants.

“We are anticipating a need to provide intermediate and long-term sheltering, as well as disaster housing for residents who will return to their homes as the water continues to go away,” Logan reported on Wednesday. “The team is diligently trying to merge the operation into recovery instead of response.”

Logan returned home last Thursday, after being deployed for five days.

Also instrumental in the disaster relief efforts were Donnie Boyd, Fire Marshal for Granville County Emergency Services, who played an integral role in moving equipment to impacted areas where there was the greatest need – as well as Robin Edwards and Reba Duke, who were activated through the Regional Coordination Center (RCC) in Central North Carolina. Fire Inspector Joe Seagroves aided in moving staging equipment for RCC-Central, which was set up in Butner.

Meanwhile, Trent Brummitt, Manager of the County’s 911 Emergency Call Center, along with Shift Supervisor Matt Faucette, traveled to Morehead City to provide assistance to telecommunicators there through a request more specific than a normal Telecommunicator Emergency Response Task Force (TERT) request.

On Sunday, September 16, a call had been made for assistance from areas using the same Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system as Carteret County. With no time to train responders from out of the area on how to use their system, the goal was to have those familiar with their emergency procedures in place to offer relief. Brummitt and Faucette were quick to respond, leaving just a few hours after the request was made. Ice, coolers, water, snacks and extra cots were packed to take along with them.

According to Brummitt, first responders in that area had been working rotating 12-hour shifts, and most had not been home since before the storm.

“They were grateful we came to help,” Brummitt said, adding that the Morehead Police Department, where they were stationed, was the only building with power when they arrived.

After checking in, Brummitt and Faucette quickly went to work, manning Morehead City’s 911 system and taking emergency calls in twelve-hour shifts. By Tuesday, Brummitt said, power had been restored as shifts continued around the clock over a two-day period. The two arrived back to Granville County late Tuesday night.

The Morehead City area was pounded with more than 15 inches of rain as a result of Hurricane Florence, with severe flooding reported. Providing additional assistance in relief efforts there were telecommunicators from Richmond, Chatham and Johnson Counties, as well from the National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard.

“We learned a lot that will help us if we ever have a situation like that here,” Brummitt said. “Seeing the effects of Hurricane Florence first handmade us realize that Granville County was very fortunate.”

About Granville County Government:

Granville County Government enhances the quality of life for the citizens of the County by providing an array of services through a responsive, effective, and efficient local government. Learn more at Follow Granville County Government on Facebook @GranvilleCountyGov. 

Red Cross: Blood, Platelet Donations Needed in Wake of Florence

-Press Release, American Red Cross

As the American Red Cross responds to Hurricane Florence, providing food, shelter and comfort to those affected, blood and platelet donors are urged to give when it’s safe to travel to care for patients in the storm’s path and across the country. People can also help by making a financial donation to support relief efforts.

Hurricane’s impact on blood and platelet donations

Hurricane Florence’s wrath left catastrophic damage behind and also took a toll on blood and platelet donations. Nearly 200 Red Cross blood drives in the Southeast were forced to cancel, resulting in more than 5,200 uncollected blood and platelet donations. In North Carolina, 57 blood drives were called off due to the storm, causing nearly 2,100 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected.

“Natural disasters like hurricanes can disrupt blood drives and prevent donors from giving, but hospital patients still depend on lifesaving transfusions,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “There is an especially critical need for platelets to help cancer patients and type O blood donations for ongoing patient care and emergencies. Every donation can be a lifeline for patients.”

How to help

As conditions improve, donors of all blood types are urged to make an appointment to give blood or platelets and replenish the blood supply. Appointments can be made by using the Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS  (1-800-733-2767).

Financial donations are also needed and allow the Red Cross to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by Hurricane Florence by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word FLORENCE to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Up-to-date information about how the Red Cross is responding to Hurricane Florence is available at

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in your area:

Franklin County


9/22/2018: 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Rock Spring Baptist Church, 34 Rock Springs Church Rd.


Granville County


9/28/2018: 2  – 6:30 p.m., Creedmoor United Methodist Church, 214 Park Avenue


Warren County


10/13/2018: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Zion United Methodist Church, 141 Zion Church Rd.

How to donate blood

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Kansas Animal Rescue Organization Provides Assistance to Granville

-Press Release, County of Granville

Weather conditions across the state led to some unexpected assistance in Granville County this week as a Kansas animal rescue group provided relief to the animal shelter.

In an effort to assist those impacted by Hurricane Florence, Unleashed Pet Rescue and Adoption of Mission, Kansas – with assistance from Polk County SPCA of Livingston, Texas and Paws4Life of Shreveport, Louisiana – reached out to North Carolina animal shelters who were at or near capacity, arriving with transport units to take animals back to safer areas.  According to Granville County Animal Control Director Matt Katz, there was room for several more animals on the return trip. This was a welcome relief locally, as kennels were already pressed for space before the storm even made landfall on our coast.

Over the weekend, several more pets had been surrendered to the Granville County shelter and no more kennel space was available, Katz explains. When volunteer Roxanne Blackburn was contacted by Sherry Davis with the Polk County SPCA about pulling animals on their way out of North Carolina, the offer couldn’t have come at a better time.

Granville County’s Animal Shelter’s save rate is 80 to 90 percent, Katz noted, but the “tough decisions” sometimes have to be made. Not this time, however, as 26 animals were rescued.

Unleashed Pet Rescue is a licensed, nonprofit animal shelter that works to save the lives of rescued pets, pulling them to safety. The organization works to find homes for pets of all ages, health, temperaments and history, giving each animal an opportunity for a better life. During Hurricane Harvey, Unleashed Pet Rescue was an integral part of the animal rescue efforts along the Gulf Coast, as well as offering assistance during other emergencies across the nation.

Katz says that this will be the first time all year that the shelter has had this many open kennels.

“These folks also pulled dogs from Franklin and Vance Counties on their way out of the state,” Katz said. “This may lead to another avenue for placement of our dogs.”

Katz credits Roxanne Blackburn for taking the initiative and “jumping on this opportunity,” and asks anyone interested in the welfare of local animals to thank these groups for their assistance.

“We are grateful to Roxanne for all her help in this, and ask everyone to please take a moment to thank these groups on their Facebook pages. This opens up so many opportunities for us, and we couldn’t be more grateful.”

Update to Granville Co. Road Closures; Three to Remain Closed Indefinitely

-Information courtesy Lynn Allred, Public Information Officer/Grants Coordinator, County of Granville

Update on Road Closures – Wednesday, September 19

After an assessment of Granville County roads by the Department of Transportation yesterday, several will remain closed indefinitely, until long-term repairs can be made. These roads are Community Road, Smart Road and Enon Road. If traveling along these areas, please make plans to detour.

Aaron Church Road is still being evaluated by the DOT, due to extensive flooding. There may be other roads in the county that have not yet been reported. Drivers are urged to move with caution and to report any additional road issues to the Granville County Sheriff’s office at (919) 693-3213.

Forecast for Tar River in Louisburg Changes; Minor Flood Stage Reached

-Information courtesy Kristen G. King, Clerk to the Board, County of Franklin

UPDATE: Wednesday, September 19 at 9:30 a.m.

The latest forecast indicates that the Tar River in Louisburg will peak at 21.1 ft tonight, Wednesday, September 19 at 6 p.m. Minor flood stage for the Tar River in Louisburg is 20.0 ft. Moderate flood stage is 22 ft.

City of Henderson/M.R. Williams Collecting Items for Hurricane Relief Efforts

-Information courtesy Frank Frazier, City Manager, City of Henderson

In response to the tragic and horrendous effects that Hurricane Florence left on our east coast, the City of Henderson has joined in partnership with M.R. Williams to do our part with the relief efforts. The City asks that our community assist us in this effort as we attempt to fill a tractor and trailer with supplies to send to our neighbors down east and along the coast.

This event will begin on Wednesday, September 19 and will continue until we have successfully filled the trailer. The items we are looking to collect include nonperishable foods, water (bottles, jugs, etc.), toiletries, cleaning supplies and clothing. We ask that all items be new or unused.

Henderson Fire Station #1, located at 211 Dabney Dr., will be the central drop-off location and items will be collected there from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. starting on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. For more information, contact the City of Henderson Fire Department at (252) 438-7315.

Rebuilding Hope, Inc. Collecting Items for Hurricane Florence Victims

-Information courtesy Rebuilding Hope, Inc. 

Volunteers at Rebuilding Hope are collecting items needed by victims of Hurricane Florence. Items may be dropped off at the Rebuilding Hope warehouse at 414 Raleigh Road, Henderson.

The items include cleaning supplies, buckets, towels, gloves, paper towels, water, Gatorade, plastic totes, trash bags, feminine products, nonperishable foods, snacks, blankets, hand sanitizers, baby wipes, antibacterial wipes and soap, diapers, canned baby food, baby formula and toilet paper.

Items will be collected through Friday and then transported to Cove City for distribution in Jones County.

When flood waters recede, Rebuilding Hope volunteers will offer their help in other ways. Volunteers expect to assist operations centers with clearing debris and home repairs.

Pictured is Leo Suitte of Manson who is loading one of two trailers with chainsaws, generators, ropes, chains, safety equipment and other tools. (Photo Credit: Rebuilding Hope, Inc.)