Local Interest
5:56 am
Fri February 16, 2007

Volunteers Rebuilding Riegelwood Homes

Wilmington, NC – The Riegelwood Disaster Response Committee has the materials and the foundations, now it just needs the elbow grease to replace and repair homes devastated by last year's deadly tornado.

Many families displaced by the storm are still living in temporary housing, and Committee member, Bill Haddock, pastor of Wrightsboro United Methodist Church, says it's his group's goal to get these families back to normal life.

We realize that we're not just rebuilding houses, we're in the home-building you know, if you can understand the difference between a house and a home.

Haddock says it can be hard for the public to keep the disaster in mind for the months and years it takes to rebuild.

In general, it could be said about any disaster that we're very concerned about it for a few days, maybe a week or so, but the long term recovery is the real problem.

Although many of the homes destroyed in Riegelwood were doublewide trailers, the new houses will all be stick-built on foundations. The families chosen for this stage of rebuilding were the first to make their way through the Small Business Administration and state claims process.

The Riegelwood Disaster Response Committee has at least a hundred volunteers lined up to help with construction and general tasks. The group aims to build five new homes in the coming months.

Eight people were killed and dozens of homes destroyed by the November 16th tornado, reported to be the second deadliest in North Carolina in the past 50 years.

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Interested volunteers should contact the Riegelwood Disaster Response Committee through volunteer coordinator Melody Prevatte at (910) 642-7141, ext. 294.