Hurricane Florence Update

October 4, 2018

A home in New Bern, NC.


Pastor Geitra recently received this email from a congregant at the Chapel, Mike Weber, who is helping the Red Cross with disaster relief in New Bern, NC:


Geitra.....hello from New Bern, NC.  Sorry for the delay in sending an update you could share with the folks at the Chapel.  I am at a kitchen operation at Temple Baptist Church that the Red Cross is running. Teams from the Southern Baptists are cooking 6000 meals per day at this kitchen (outdoors under tents) and 25 trucks from Red Cross and about 10 from Salvation Army fan out daily for about 50 miles in all directions to give out the food, lunch and dinner runs.  It is an operation like the military would do. I am in charge of the 25 Red cross emergency response vehicles, 3 box trucks and 12 rental cars. Many of the Red Cross trucks have mechanical or electrical issues we have to get fixed and it is a huge challenge to keep the fleet working. 

This is very much painting a moving train times 1000 so to speak.  The Volunteers here eat the same food that is prepared for the hurricane victims and we sleep on cots in the gym of another Baptist Church which happens to be across the street from the pharmacy where Pepsi was invented, a local landmark.

The flood waters have gone down but there is visible damage all over the place. Some areas were spared, some wiped out.  People here are grateful for our help and many have come up to me personally and said so when I have been in various places I visited.

We are on the winding down side of the feeding part of the response here but we dont know when a decision is made to change what we are doing.  It kind of feels like this kitchen operation will close this weekend but we dont know for sure. We would then move to another kitchen location and help them.

Monday, Oct 8 t is my 30th wedding anniversary and I am probably going to be here until Friday, Oct 12. Fortunately, Ann supports what I am doing and understands.

There are thousands of Red Cross volunteers all over eastern NC and many will be be here for a long time. I am getting over some sort of respiratory infection, which is common in these deployments. I saw a local doctor who treated me at no charge as a thank you for my helping the people.

 Yesterday my steel toed boots needed fixed and a local shoe repair guy did a $75, two week repair for $10 while I waited 30 minutes. The community is grateful we are here and there are dozens of organizations here helping. The UMC has a big operation in Greenville, NC and I stayed in a UMC church my first night here. There is plenty of need for everyone.

Thats my early morning update, will be getting up shortly to start my day.

Please pass all this on to the folks at the Chapel and tell Jason and thank them for their support of what I am doing to help down here.

Thanks....Mike Weber