AFTER THE STORM

ECU establishes hurricane recovery center

East Carolina University has set up a recovery operations center for those affected by Hurricane Florence and created a website where individuals and businesses may request assistance and the ECU community may volunteer to help with recovering and rebuilding from the storm and its flooding.

ECU medical student Holly Pittard unloads water at the Walter B. Jones Center in Greenville.

ECU medical student Holly Pittard unloads water at the Walter B. Jones Center in Greenville.

The website is at http://florencerecovery.ecu.edu. Through the website, ECU will match faculty, staff, students, alumni and community volunteers with civic and community organizations to assist in recovery efforts in North Carolina’s eastern counties as well as offer technical assistance to eastern North Carolina businesses through various offices and specialists at ECU.

“Since moving to eastern North Carolina, I have seen the resilience, tenacity and kindness of the people who live here,” said ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton. “In the coming days, I know that we will work together to move from rescue efforts to returning people to the lives and communities many had to evacuate. I want to pledge to you that ECU ­­– our students, our faculty and our staff – will be alongside you.”

Jay Golden, ECU vice chancellor for research, economic development and engagement, is leading ECU’s recovery operations efforts.

“Our university is made up of people who have great experience, resources, expertise, energy and a willingness to step up and share whatever we have with our friends and neighbors,” Golden said. “I want our students, faculty, staff, community leaders and local organizations to know that ECU is here to help in the recovery process. Whether it’s with time, money or expertise, join us in restoring eastern North Carolina.”

ECU has also established a Hurricane Florence relief fund to help toward financing community volunteer operations and to help ECU students with emergency needs related to Florence. Contributors may donate at http://www.piratealumni.com/hurricanerelief. Donations will provide the necessary tools, equipment and other resources necessary for volunteers to undertake community-recovery efforts, aid students in need and support other recovery initiatives.

Long term, ECU will support groups of communities and businesses in the region with technical expertise to create recovery plans, hold workshops for business recovery and provide grant- and loan-writing services.

ECU volunteers will do their best to provide assistance, but will not have the expertise or ability to aid in all requests. The university will, however, direct inquiries to appropriate aid organizations when it is unable to satisfy a request.

A sheriff's department truck drives through a flooded street Sept. 14 in Washington, N.C.

A sheriff’s department truck drives through a flooded street Sept. 14 in Washington, N.C.