Cumberland County man doing his part to prepare his town should Hurricane Ian strike

ByMonique John via WTVD logo
Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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Virgil Dotson is chopping and donating wood to his church so people can use it if the power goes out.

EASTOVER, N.C. (WTVD) -- Residents in the Fayetteville area are all too familiar with how devastating major storms can be, as many of them live in flood zones. That's why some people ABC11 spoke to Wednesday are taking as many cautions as they can in case Hurricane Ian tears through their communities.

In the remote area of Eastover, neighbors are coming together. They say flooding has been an issue with previous storms, so leaning on each other is their best chance at protecting their homes.

For Virgil Dotson, the idea of getting caught in a major flood again gives him chills.

"At night, when you're completely out of electricity and you're inundated with water, and at night you're hearing all these trees fall down, that is very scary. And that emotionally will take a drain out of you," Dotson said.

Dotson was a victim of Hurricane Florence. He said his house was hit with $20,000 in damages and water levels about 4 feet high. The constant rain from that storm led to the outpouring of water from a canal nearby. This time around, Dotson is extending a helping hand to make sure no one else goes through what he experienced.

"You just got to be ready, prepared in case the worst comes," Dotson said. "And that's hard to do. A lot of people can't even prepare--they don't have the money."

He and his family are chopping and donating wood to their local church, Balm in Gilead on Doc Bennett Road. People can burn the wood to stay warm, cook food, and create light if the power goes out.

"If we can't help one another, we're a sorry lot," Dotson said. "And that's what this is going to take. It's going to take everybody working together and doing everything they can do."