Governor visits as tornado-ravaged town begins recovery effort

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— Bertie County officials on Wednesday identified the two people killed in a Tuesday morning tornado that wiped out a Windsor neighborhood.

Sheriff John Holley said Randolph Harrell, 62, and Lethia Ann Edwards, 52, were killed in the storm. Holley couldn’t say how many people were injured.

Gov. Roy Cooper visited Windsor on Wednesday morning to assess the damage and get an update on the recovery effort.

On Wednesday, Alyssa Benson from the Boone-based Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse said 10 volunteers were there to help, but the organization needs more hands to salvage personal belongings, clear debris, tarp roofs and remove downed trees.

No experience is needed to work, Benson said. Volunteers will meet daily at 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at Ross Baptist Church, located at 1020 Bull Hill Road, and go through a brief orientation before they start cleaning up the site.

“We’ll get you prepped and ready and in the field helping families,” Benson said. “We’ll have experienced team leads in the field to help you get along.”

All volunteers will wear masks and gloves.

People interested in helping can call 828-266-5029 or show up at the church.

“We want to just show these families that they are not forgotten, that they are loved by us and by God,” Benson said. “I can’t even imagine going through a COVID pandemic and then also losing your home to a tornado like this so we just want to come alongside them, get back on their feet and remind them that we love them.”

More ways to get help, give help

The Food Bank of the Albemarle, which serves Bertie County, is accepting monetary donations online.

On Saturday, Aug. 8, the Good Shephard Food Pantry will host a drive thru-food distribution event at 1008 North King Street in Windsor. Organizer Deborah Freeman said Bertie County residents just need to show their ID between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to get food. The event will be held on the second and third Saturdays of each month.

The Bertie County Humane Society in Windsor is asking for donations of dog food and other supplies.