On September 14, 2018, Category 1 Hurricane Florence made landfall south of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. The storm stalled and dumped heavy rain along the coast causing widespread flooding. Rivers flooded areas in eastern North Carolina that were still recovering from October 2016’s Hurricane Matthew and continued cresting at unprecedented levels in North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina for the next two weeks.
Several Salvation Army locations were damaged. The Salvation Army homeless shelter and administrative building in Wilmington sustained roof damage as the eye of the hurricane passed over. The Salvation Army corps building in New Bern was flooded with two feet of water. The Salvation Army’s corps/administration office and Family Store in Morehead City were destroyed.
The Salvation Army was there before, during, and after the storm.
As Florence approached the Carolinas, The Salvation Army worked around the clock to monitor the storm and mobilize response teams. As soon as conditions were clear, Salvation Army units began service in communities, focusing on the immediate needs of food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care. For the next month, The Salvation Army served more than 354,400 meals to residents and the responders and volunteers supporting local impacted communities. More than 22,800 people received prayers and words of encouragement from Salvation Army Emotional and Spiritual Care specialists. In total, Salvation Army officers, employees and volunteers provided more than 77,490 hours of service.
In response to the storm, The Salvation Army provided:
- 354,436 meals
- 297,571 drinks
- 223,990 snacks
- 22,392 food boxes
- 13,335 clean-up kits
- 14,121 hygiene kits
- Emotional and spiritual care for more than 22,872 people
The Salvation Army Service Continues
Today, local Salvation Army units in the Carolinas are hard at work. The shock from the storm has worn off and families are figuring out a new plan. The Salvation Army is there, working alongside the community to rebuild.
Our work in the Carolinas is not complete. Some of the work will be physical; even more will be emotional and spiritual. In the weeks, months, and years ahead we will continue to fulfill our mission to serve those who need us, and we will remain as long as we are needed.