LAURINBURG — State Rep.Garland Pierce was at Bright Hopewell Baptist Church on Tuesday, where he serves as pastor. But he wasn’t there solely to give words of encouragement — he was also part of a contingent made up of area church congregations and NAACP members who were providing meals for those in need.
“This is what we do in times like this,” Pierce said. “And we’ll continue until the food is gone — but we have plenty.”
Pierce, who serves the residents of Scotland County as a state representative, said things are bleak in his home county — but added that his constituents are resilient.
“This is something we’ve never seen before — especially in Scotland County — and they are pretty rattled,” he said. “It’s really devastated a lot of folks (and) for many it will be hard to bounce back. But we will, somehow.”
According to the latest reports, close to 400 people are in a shelter at St. Andrews University and many more had fled the county prior to Hurricane Florence’s arrival. Since it hit, numerous streets have been flooded, massive power outages have taken place, parts of U.S. 74 have been closed and a few storm-related deaths or injuries have been reported.
“I don’t think we expected it to be at this level in Scotland County,” Pierce said.”But I’m proud that everyone at the city (of Laurinburg) and county level are doing everything they can to keep people safe and restore services.”
He added that he has had at least a couple of conversations with Gov. Roy Cooper about the recovery process.
“It’s just going to take time now,” Pierce said. “We will be in the FEMA loop and I feel certain we will be getting assistance as soon as possible.”
For those needing a meal in the Laurinburg area, Brightwell Hope Baptist Church is located at 601 N. Main St. in Laurinburg. As long as food is available, the community effort will continue into Wednesday.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-506-3023 or [email protected]