Pro Bono News

What Does a "Just Recovery" from Hurricane Florence Look Like? (NC)

Saturday, January 26, 2019

What Does a "Just Recovery" from Hurricane Florence Look Like?

"WILMINGTON — During Hurricane Florence, winds tore shingles and siding off Elberta Pugh-Hudson’s elevated Burgaw home even as the swollen Northeast Cape Fear River rose around it, eventually leading the U.S. Coast Guard to rescue her family in a helicopter.

For months after, Pugh-Hudson and her family lived in hotel rooms, moving into a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) trailer just before Christmas. She’s living there now, while she waits for the destroyed home to be torn down or rebuilt.

“My process is tedious because I cannot get anyone to demolish it. They’re all telling me that the pilings have to be torn down with the home and that would be much, much more expensive for me,” Pugh-Hudson said, adding it’s been difficult to find a contractor.

Pugh-Hudson was one of about 200 people who attended the Hurricane Florence Survivors’ Summit on Saturday at the Coastline Convention Center. The day-long event featured conversation about how recovery from September’s storm could best be accomplished in a just manner for all groups, especially those that have been historically disadvantaged or underprivileged.

“One of the things that we know is when disaster strikes, it strikes everyone. But people who are already impacted by poverty and other circumstances are often left behind in the recovery processes, and we’re working very hard to lift those people up,” said Courtney Patterson, an organizer with the Just Florence Recovery Coalition and the fourth vice president of the N.C. NAACP..."

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