NCDOT, Salvation Army gearing up for start of hurricane season

Tuesday marked the official start of hurricane season and people around the state are beginning to gear up for possible severe weather.

North Carolina was pretty lucky last year. A few storms hit the coast and there were ice storms, but they came without major monetary expenses.

Hurricanes Matthew in 2016 cost NCDOT $203 million and Hurricane Florence in 2018 more than $240 million.

NCDOT says funding levels this year remain about the same as last.

Spokesperson Steve Abbott says when disaster strikes, "budget doesn't determine reaction" and the agency will spend what it has to in order to help people.

The Salvation Army of Wake County will send out canteens to feed people who just lost everything. The mobile feeding unit basically a restaurant on wheels.

"We have everything we would need to prepare meals," said Salvation Army of Wake County Program Director Sarah Smith-Ruiz. "We have an oven. We have a grill, stovetop. We also have a microwave."

The canteens can serve up to 1,500 people per day. They're sent around the state and beyond North Carolina borders to help those in need during their darkest hour.

"It's huge. At the end of the day, you need nourishment. You have to have food, you have to have water at least to be able to survive. We can supply that. That does wonders for a community and really, people's spirit," said Salvation Army of Wake County Spokesperson Donal Ware.

The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers to join efforts. The work is usually done by full-time staff members.

"They're very appreciative, very welcoming and thankful," Smith-Ruiz said of the people she's helped throughout the years.

If you're interested in volunteering with the Salvation Army, email thomas.harrison@uss.salvationarmy.org.
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