The American Red Cross Disaster Relief Team set up in the Summersville Baptist Life Center on Wednesday afternoon and saw more locals come in for
help on Thursday.
Sharon Moore, the shelter manager who was sent up from Kings Mountain,
North Carolina, talked about those in need who were coming into the
“We have people coming in constantly all the time Right now
we also have special needs people coming in. We have one on dialysis and have
quite a few diabetic patients,” said Moore.
Moore also outlined what the Red Cross Disaster Relief Team had
“We’re offering food—three meals a day—snacks, bedding,
shelter, water. We have generators so if
the power goes out. Hopefully it does
not. We have toiletries and supplies for them. We do have showers available.”
When Jared Smearman’s power went out at his own home, he
took his family to stay with friends at Summersville Manor Apartments before
the awnings started collapsing at the complex. He eventually wound up at the shelter with his wife and daughter.
“Our building that we were staying in didn’t collapse until
we had already been evacuated, but we did see one of the awnings collapse. I
mean, nobody got hurt or anything, but it was a violent action, you know. It
scared a lot of people,” said Smearman.
Smearman didn’t seem inconvenienced by having a difficult
time finding shelter. For the most part, he said, morale was pretty high at the
Summersville Baptist Life Center.
“Here, it’s pretty good. We’re all working together to keep
everything civil. We’ve got some new people coming in but right now it’s not
really that packed so we have plenty of room to allow the kids to run around
and everything,” he said.
But there were others who had struggles that were much harder
to bear. Josephine Hartley from Nettie
showed up at the shelter on Thursday afternoon. Hartley, whose roof collapsed on
Tuesday, had been shuffled around shelters and hotels in the area. The 82 year old woman was clearly rattled by
the storm and its effects.
But even despite terrible hardships like Hartley’s, the
relief effort was all about banding together to help one another.
“Actually, all different kinds of people—some that I’ve
never seen in my life and then people that I’ve known for a long time–they’re
all here working hand in hand. Everybody’s
really come together in this disastrous situation,” said Smearman.
As for Hartley, even with all that she has been through, she
is still grateful for those who have lent her a hand.
“Everybody’s been so nice. I appreciate it all,” she said.
According to Carla Henessey,
the Nicholas County Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the
Summersville Baptist Life Center will remain open on Friday. The Richwood Food and Clothing Pantry will
also be open as a shelter for those in need.