OCRACOKE, NC (WVEC) – A week with limited power and no tourists means little business on Ocracoke Island.
Residents said they’ve struggled to make ends meet after they no longer have their tourism-driven jobs.
“During the Summer time, [residents] are pulling three or four jobs to make sure they’ve got enough to make it through the Winter,” said Ivey Belch, pastor of the Ocracoke Assembly of God Church.
Last Thursday, a construction company severed transmission lines that provide power to the island.
Now, with tourism dollars at a halt, Belch’s church at 459 Lighthouse Road has opened its food pantry from Wednesday to Thursday.
Another local church, Ocracoke United Methodist Church is collecting monetary donations. One-hundred percent of funds go to affected families.
“We’re doing more of the food pantry and they’re getting funds in to help people with gift cards where they can go to the local store and buy food of their own,” said Belch.
Belch encourages those who want to help to donate directly to local organizations. Places like the local fire station are also accepting donations.
If anyone feel compelled to help, churches encourage checks to be sent to the following address:
Ocracoke United Methodist Church
PO box 278
Ocracoke, North Carolina 27960
MEMO: BLACKOUT RELIEF FUND