Greensboro City Manager Encourages Donations, Urges Hope As Storm Cleanup Continues

Greensboro City Manager Encourages Donations, Urges Hope As Storm Cleanup Continues

9:18am Apr 25, 2018
Recovery efforts continue in Greensboro more than a week after a tornado ripped through the city, damaging homes, schools and businesses. DAVID FORD/WFDD

We’re now more than a week out from the devastating tornado that ripped through Greensboro, and recovery efforts are well underway.

Greensboro Assistant City Manager Chris Wilson says crews and volunteers have been working non-stop to help residents affected by the storms.

Wilson spoke to WFDD’s Sean Bueter about what’s next for the city after the outpouring of support from residents and local organizations.

Interview Highlights

On the surge of support Wilson has seen since the tornado first touched down:

I will say that and I will try not to get emotional doing this, but I will tell you that what I've witnessed on the ground from churches, businesses, individuals, not just here in Greensboro, from all over, coming into Greensboro and offering their time, their sweat equity, their finances, you name it. We have seen such an outpouring.

It is just incredible, and to view that on the ground, just seeing everybody come together...you know even the simplest of gestures like a hug for someone who is just distraught with grief over losing their home is huge. It is absolutely unreal. And even though this was devastating, I cannot tell you how uplifting it is to see literally every group that I can think of come to the table and say "How can I help?"

On the two things people can do now to assist:

One would be financial contributions – again, housing is an expensive venture. There are multiple ways that we're going to try to address that. But at the end of the day financing is very important. And our good friends at United Way and the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro are the intake for that. So we would ask you to consider that too.

The volunteer center has a website right now where you can go and sign up to be a volunteer. Whether that is food distribution or even just shuffling goods from one location to another or supporting any efforts in and around the areas that support those who are impacted. That is another great way to help.

What keeps Wilson up at night? What could stand in the way of a successful recovery?

Well, it can be things like the weather. I spent the better part of my day along with a lot of great team members finding ways to get tarps to people. [For example], if you have a hole in your roof and you don't want further damage you've got to get that covered.

So there's some very simple factors that can interfere, like weather, that impede our ability to move forward quickly or sustain some of the things that are not further damaged at this point.

Some of the other things that come, just to be quite honest: there will be people who take advantage of the situation [scammers], and that is awful. It serves as an impediment to our progress. Those are things that sort of keep me up at night are those things that arise in the wake of a tragedy.

(Ed.: This post has been updated to include interview highlights. The transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.)

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