Isabel Recovery Update

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 24, 2003

One week has now passed since Hurricane Isabel’s destructive winds ripped through the heart of the Roanoke-Chowan area. In an effort to provide the citizens of this area with the most up-to-date information on the recovery effort, the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald has compiled the following facts:

Bertie County

*Bertie’s curfew was lifted as of 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

*The county’s water system is operational and the water is safe to drink.

*Initial damage assessment is complete, thus helping FEMA and other relief agencies to understand the impact the storm had on the county. Citizens wishing to apply for FEMA aid must first call 1-800-621-3362.

*Shuttle service began on Wednesday for county residents to Windsor (Food Lion, Davis IGA and downtown area) in order for them to pick-up supplies, groceries, hot meals and make business transactions. Buses will depart daily at 9 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. from the following locations: Askewville (Todd’s Cross), Colerain (Red Apple on Main St.), Lewiston (NC 11/308 Park & Ride area), Merry Hill (Post Office) and Windsor (Indian Woods Church). No residential stops will be made.

*The American Red Cross has feeding sites set-up at the fire departments in Askewville, Aulander, Colerain, Powellsville, Roxobel and Lewiston. Also, the Red Cross has several Emergency Response Vehicles traveling through the county delivering meals. If citizens need a meal, locate the mobile unit in your area. If you know of persons who are in need of meals, call the Bertie County Emergency Operations Center at 794-6371. For direct assistance from the Red Cross, call 1-800-GET-INFO.

*The Salvation Army has a feeding site located in the Bertie Courthouse parking lot in Windsor.

*Ice is available at the Courthouse parking lot and at municipalities in the county (normally at the town fire departments) at various times during the day, based upon availability of ice.

*Tarps are available to county citizens until supplies run out. Contact the Emergency Operations Center for pick-up information.

*There are no emergency food stamps available at this time.

*Oxley Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Merry Hill is serving hot meals to those in need during the storm recovery effort. Meals are served daily from 8-10:30 a.m., 12 noon and 4:30-7 p.m.

*Ryan’s Caf in downtown Aulander is serving free meals daily beginning at 7 a.m. Those wishing to contribute to their &uot;pot luck&uot; menu can drop food items off at any time.

*Storm debris will be removed (in town) by town government or NCDOT. In rural areas, NCDOT will remove the debris. Please place all debris near the road, but not within five feet of the roadway. NCDOT will remove the debris on a schedule to be determined later.

Hertford County

*The county curfew ended at 6 a.m. this morning (Thursday).

*The sale of alcoholic beverages will resume at 7 p.m. today.

*Contractors that have officially registered with the Hertford County Building Inspector shall be considered as the only &uot;for-hire&uot; workers authorized to perform repairs within Hertford County. In order to be authorized, those contractors must provide to the Building Inspector the name of their company or individual, address and telephone numbers, licensing information (if any) and insurance information, including liability and workers compensation (if any).

*The county waives the requirement for obtaining Building Permits for a citizen making temporary emergency repairs to prevent wind and water from entering buildings during the period beginning Sept. 22 through Sept. 29. All structural repairs or electrical work will continue to need a Building Permit.

*Questions regarding food stamps should be directed to the County DSS (358-7830).

*County residents can apply for aid from FEMA, but they must first contact FEMA by phone at 1-800-621-3362.

*An update on electric power restoration is available by calling Dominion Power at 1-888-667-3000.

*The Ahoskie Recreation Center and all town parks and playgrounds are closed until further notice.

*Ice and water are available daily from 8-10 a.m. and again from 4-6 p.m. at the National Guard Armory in Ahoskie. Ice and water are also available, at various times, at the fire departments in each of the county’s municipalities.

*The Salvation Army has a public feeding station set-up in the parking lot at Roanoke-Chowan Community College in Union. Three meals are served daily at 7 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Northampton County

*Up-to-the-minute public information is available by tuning in to WPTM (102.3 FM) or WRZU (88.5 FM) public radio.

*One road remains closed in the county – US 158 west of Jackson at Boon’s Mill. That roadbed was severely compromised by rapidly-moving water. DOT officials said they anticipate repairs taking at least until December.

*County government offices are back running on a normal schedule.

*Northampton County Public Schools reopened yesterday (Wednesday).

*Electrical power is back on, although spotty in nature, in all of the county’s municipalities. Rural residents remain without power in various locations.

*Those needing information by phone are urged to call 574-0205.

*Red Cross meals are being served twice a day (lunch and dinner) at the municipal fire departments located throughout the county.

*Ice will be distributed, as it becomes available, at the municipal fire departments. Ice distribution is normally performed in the morning hours.

*Disaster assistance is available through FEMA at 1-800-621-3362.

*For county citizens that use private wells, if the well head was flooded during or following the hurricane, do not drink that water until it has been tested and found to be safe by the Northampton Health Department or other approved laboratory. Any questions concerning private wells or to make arrangements for water testing, contact the Northampton Health Department at 534-5841. All storm-related samples will be tested free of charge.

*Questions concerning municipal or county water systems should be addressed to the appropriate Town Hall or Northampton County Public Works Department.

*Effective immediately, USDA emergency commodity foods will be distributed at Nebo Baptist Church, located on US 258 south of Murfreesboro. Commodities will be distributed daily at 2 p.m. until supplies are exhausted This is a countywide distribution point for county residents affected by Hurricane Isabel. Lunch is also being served daily from 12 noon until 1:30 p.m. at this same location.