Donations of supplies accepted at city hall

Havelock has joined the growing effort to help victims of Hurricane Matthew in eastern North Carolina.

Local communities like Vanceboro and nearby Kinston have experienced severe flooding in the aftermath of the hurricane that swept by the coast on Oct. 8. Intense rains inland swelled rivers and creeks.

“Craven County was so busy that we thought that organizing this was the best thing we could do,” said Lauren Wargo, public information officer for Havelock.

The city set up a trailer and collected relief supplies over the two-day Havelock Chili Festival this past weekend.

“It went really well,” Wargo said. “We collected quite a bit of diapers, formula, food items, cleaning supplies, water. People in the Havelock community were very generous with what they brought to the Havelock Chili Festival, especially with late notice. It’s just been very nice to see the community come out to these collection points, especially the ones set up by the city.”

The highest demand right now is for water and cleaning supplies, but the city is accepting canned food items, diapers, and baby formula as well, she said.

“I think one of the things they were asking for was paper plates, plastic utensils, anything that could be used at an area where they will be providing meals,” said Wargo. “I don’t think they are in need of clothes at this point. As far as cleaning supplies, they are just preparing for when the flooding goes down so people can clean their homes and start moving forward.”

The city has a trailer set up in the parking lot at city hall and a collection bin inside the lobby of the building. Anyone can come contribute at city hall from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Items collected will be sent to the needy through the Red Cross.

Havelock avoided major damage during Hurricane Matthew, but Wargo said residents know they are part of a bigger community.

“I think it resonates in this community because these are communities that we drive through all the time. These are our neighbors and people that are Craven County residents that need assistance,” said Wargo. “This area of Craven County definitely got lucky when it comes to damage, but people are really coming out to support their neighbors and that’s nice to see.”

She said the city would continue to be a collection point for donations as long as there is need.

Meanwhile, Wargo said collection of storm debris is continuing in Havelock. Though the city didn’t have major damage, a number of residents had tree limbs or small trees come down in their yards. Yard debris from the storm is to be gathered in a pile next to the street.

The Havelock Public Services Department is steadily collecting the debris and carrying it to a state-approved green waste collection site just east of Havelock owned by Ciezcko Construction off N.C. 101, Wargo said.

The city collects yard debris Monday through Thursday, and the crews are a couple of days behind due to the volume of storm debris, Wargo said. The city was also hampered in its initial cleanup because its ancillary workforce of about 10 N.C. Department of Corrections workers was unavailable last week because the state was in an official State of Emergency.