Jon Dawson: Feeling blessed after Florence and a way to help

Jon Dawson: Feeling blessed after Florence and a way to help

Hurricane Florence has passed through our region, but the devastation is far from over.

As of this writing, three lives have been lost in Lenoir County as a result of Florence. When flood waters recede, there’s always the terrifying notion of more victims being discovered.

While this is being written on Sunday, Sept. 16, the Neuse River is predicted to crest at 24.9’ late Thursday/early Friday. Lives, homes, and businesses hang in the balance, and time seems to not only crawl but stand still.

As for my family unit, we were blessed and have nothing to complain about. Even though at times it felt like the roof might pop off, we came through the storm unscathed.

Attempting to sleep Thursday night was a waste of time, so I listened to the wind wring noises out of our house I’d never heard before. At first, wondering if the whole structure would be a pile of debris by daybreak, I was taken back to the days the house was being built. The construction foreman was in his 70s and was shall we say very specific about how he wanted things done. I appreciated his attention to detail then, but even more so now.

Our two Tax Deductions did great during the storm. If they were ever nervous, we couldn’t tell. They put together a puzzle by flashlight, and when we put them to bed they decided to bunk together. Even during multiple tornado watches and warnings, their giggle-fest never completely subsided. Seeing them relaxed inspired me to pretend to be relaxed.

Later that night, I walked outside to see if the water had crept any closer to the house. When I came back inside I heard mumbling coming from the TDs bathroom. The power was still out, but there was a tiny tea light candle burning in the sink – along with a Tax Deduction in the tub and another on the floor – both with pillows and blankets in tow.

“The bed was too hot,” TD#1 said. “The tub and the tiles are cooler.”

I worked in the newspaper business with Richard Clark for roughly a decade. He resides in Trenton and has been without power for three days. He has no way out of town, so he’s stranded at home alone with his dog Daisy and a cat named Cheddar. Richard being Richard, he has plenty of food for the animals but forgot about himself.

“Do you think it’s safe to eat a raw bratwurst?” he asked me on the phone today.

“You may want to rig up something with some candles and aluminum foil,” I replied. “These rescue teams have enough to deal with already.”

If you’d like to help with the recovery effort, local nonprofit KARE (Kinston Area Recovery Efforts) will be accepting donations at Fairfield Recreation Center at 800 Greenbriar Road on Sept. 17 beginning at noon. According to KARE spokesperson June Cummings, the most needed items are personal hygiene and paper products, cleaning supplies, and diapers.

Monetary donations will also be accepted at the Fairfield event. To make an online monetary donation, visit the KARE Facebook page. If you'd like to mail in a donation, send it to:


327 North Queen Street, Suite 109

Kinston, NC 28501

PLEASE NOTE: The Sept. 17 KARE event at Fairfield is a donation event only. Items will be distributed at a later date.

Jon Dawson can be reached at and

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Greene, Jones County residents reflect on Hurricane Florence

Greene, Jones County residents reflect on Hurricane Florence

CFC goes door-to-door in flood-prone areas

CFC goes door-to-door in flood-prone areas