Mike Smeltz/WCBS 880

Florence Evacuees Eager To Return Home

September 20, 2018 - 6:50 pm

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WCBS 880) -- Hundreds of people displaced by Hurricane Florence are still waiting on word when it's safe to go back home.

A conference center turned temporary shelter on the University of North Carolina’s campus in Chapel Hill has been home for more than a week now for Calvin Meadows.

He evacuated from Maysville, North Carolina to get out of the way of Florence and while he says he’s been treated well here it’s been tough being away for this long.

"I'm just ready to go home," Meadows said. "I don't know when they're going to let us go, but I'm ready to go home. I've been up here eight days and it's been tough."

James Franklin, who lives in Trenton, says he can't complain because he's well fed and dry, but he's still eager to get back home.

"The whole nine yards is that I'm safe, we just want to get back home so we can find out what's going on," Franklin said.

The shelter was first set up to provide the immediate basic needs for evacuees but now as they move a week out from Florence, Red Cross Assistant Directo Dianna Van Horn said the focus now is getting accurate information out quickly to the approximately 250 evacuees at the shelter.

The Red Cross has set up daily briefings.

"What people need is information, they want to know when they can go home so whatever information we have we'll be sharing it as soon as we get it," said Van Horn.

For some of the people at the shelter they’ve gotten word that their home was not damaged in the storm and that they have power but the reason they are still here are because the roads near the Carolina coast are still flooded.