The evacuation order that was in place for residents within a one-mile radius of the fire at a Winston-Salem fertilizer plant has been lifted and now only impacts those in the immediate vicinity. Many residents there have been displaced for days. City officials pledge to find resources to support them, but details are thin.
Residents impacted by the blaze took to social media during Thursday's city press conference. Some said they have exhausted money for hotels and food and they're not sure where to go for help. Others worry about how long they can stay with friends or family.
The Red Cross has set up a local shelter for immediate assistance and has lots of space. The organization says 13 residents stayed overnight on Wednesday. It has since been scheduled to close as of Friday morning.
Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines recently announced that the Winston Weaver fertilizer plant is giving the city $100,000 to help displaced residents and businesses. But city leaders are still trying to figure out how to get it into people's hands.
A lot of people who live in the impacted area are people of color, primarily renters, and low-income.
City Council Member and Mayor Pro-Tem D.D. Adams represents the North Ward where the plant is located.
“My job is to go find out what are the funding mechanisms that are in place at the local level, the county level, the state level, and the federal level to ensure that the constituents and businesses are compensated or something, or to help them become whole again,” said Adams.
The Red Cross is working with other community groups and coordinating with local government officials to offer additional assistance.
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