Advertisement

Posted

September 17, 2018 19:17:16

Pastor Matthew Drake cuts an unlikely figure in waders, carrying a handgun at his waist and driving a jet ski.

But the man from the Richlands United Pentecostal Church has been at it for three days.

He and his team have been rescuing pets and people from the flooded streets of Jacksonville, North Carolina.

In the wake of Hurricane Florence, Jacksonville is in the grip of a flood not seen since Hurricane Hazel belted North Carolina in 1954.

The river has already exceeded its record height by about a metre and the city is surrounded by water.

No one is getting in, or out.

County director of emergency services Norman Bryson explained the problem.

“We actually believe we have no roadways out of other communities to get supplies back into this area, so we’re fighting concerns about food and fuel at this point in time, to support the citizens that stayed behind for the storm,” he said.

As residents queue at petrol stations and supermarkets in the hope of buying fuel and food, Pastor Matthew and I talk on the edge of the flood in the city’s downtown.

“Basically what we try to do is to try to find some people,” he says, as he puts the jet ski back on the trailer after a long day.

Then, a car pulls up and someone calls out: “Put it back in the water.”

The pastor has become something of an internet sensation in the last few days, due to the pet rescue the team performed in the flood’s early stages.

But since yesterday’s massive rainfall, people are once again in need of evacuation.

There’s been a call for a rescue from two elderly men who are in a house on the Jacksonville waterfront.

So the pastor takes off again and returns with one man and his luggage, and a second, John Ligato, the homeowner, who is plainly grateful but close to tears.

“You’re pretty grateful for these guys to come and help you out?” someone asks Mr Ligato.

He replies: “Are you kidding? When you need people, you need people.”

The pastor gives Mr Ligato a high five and a hug, before the rescued duo depart the scene.

And rescuers get ready to do it all over again.

Topics:

disasters-and-accidents,

storm-disaster,

weather,

community-and-society,

united-states

Read More

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here