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Recovery operations underway

WINDSOR – Bertie County residents continue to work towards recovery.

Citizens of the county, particularly of Windsor, are still dealing with the aftershocks of last week’s flooding, but are starting to get some help.

On Tuesday, damages assessment teams came to the county to get a first-hand look at the flood damage. Teams came from the state and federal levels to determine the amount of monetary damage done in the county.

“We are working as fast as we can to survey damage to homes, businesses, infrastructure and agriculture in Bertie and all 19 counties,” said Emily Young, State Assistant Director for Recovery Operations.  “We expect to have more definitive numbers by the end of the week and will report the preliminary damage assessment information to Governor Bev Perdue. She will then request from FEMA what type of disaster assistance will be available for the 19 counties.”

Also working as part of the recovery efforts, State Emergency Management Director Doug Hoell met with town leaders Wednesday morning to discuss federal and state assistance.

“The good news is that there was not a lot of public assistance damage in Windsor,” he said. “A lot of the businesses are insured, and that’s a positive. We’re fortunate that people do have adequate insurance.”

Public assistance includes debris removal, emergency protective measures, road and bridge repairs, water control facility repairs, building repairs and equipment replacement, utilities and parks and recreation.

Windsor Town Administrator Allen Castelloe said the measures were taken after the damage caused by flooding from Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

“Several federal buy-outs and building elevations from Hurricane Floyd saved us a lot of money this time,” he said.

Public assistance doesn’t include individual assistance, which many in the area need.

“Individuals do need assistance,” Hoell said.

Those who have received damage, but haven’t reported it are being asked to call the Bertie County Department of Social Services at 794-5320 or the Bertie County Manager’s Office at 794-5320.

While the recovery efforts are underway, the Red Cross has opened a shelter for victims of the flooding at the Bertie County Council on Aging located at 103 West School Street in Windsor.

Also, the Cashie River Bridge near Water Street in Windsor is now open to the public, but the public is being encouraged to stay away from downtown Windsor unless they have reason to be there. The reason for that request is because it will free up the roadways for workers to repair damages.

As they clean up, residents are being reminded to separate debris into three categories: construction, vegetative and white goods. The debris must be separated because it is deposited at different areas in the landfill.

Construction debris includes carpet, furniture and clothing while vegetative debris includes trees, brush and leafy vegetation. White goods will include washers, dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers and stoves.

“Not separating into these three piles will delay removal of debris from the roadways,” said Bertie Emergency Management Coordinator Rickey Freeman. “Citizens will be given until October 20 to move their debris to the state right-of-way, not the road. It will be picked up some time after October 20.”

Two locations have also been set up to donate non-perishable food, hygiene items, cleaning supplies and clean, usable clothing.

One of the locations is the Council of Aging building and the other is the Bertie Parks and Recreation office located at 101 West School Street. Donations will be accepted for 14 days.

Also available for assistance will be the Baptist Men’s Association. They are in Windsor to help those with flood damaged homes on the west side of Windsor and Bertie County.

They are headquartered at Cashie Baptist Church on Queen Street. For eligibility information, contact Gayland Moss at 800-395-5102.