Flood stories: seeing ‘the good come out in people’

Amy Taylor says she “saw the good come out in people.”

Sabrina Martiello remembers with sadness a list of street addresses, a catalog of homes made uninhabitable by flood waters.

These are different dots on the same timeline — two weeks when the Neuse River and its creeks, funneling destruction and misery after the torrential rains of Hurricane Matthew, submerged property and washed away the routine of daily life around which people build plans and fashion their aspirations. The everyday came to a standstill in much of Lenoir County. http://tinyurl.com/yca2jdov

Schools closed, of course, but while the buildings sat idle Taylor and Martiello and dozens of other LCPS teachers and many of their students stepped into the gap, filling needs wherever they found them.

Kinston High teacher Sabrina Martiello, upper right, with students who collected donations to buy supplies for distribution through the Red Cross.

Kinston High teacher Sabrina Martiello, upper right, with students who collected donations to buy supplies for distribution through the Red Cross.

For more than a week Taylor, with friends and fellow teachers Kara Howard and April Modlin, fed and saw to the comfort of National Guard personnel, swift water rescue teams and medical units quartered at Southwood Memorial Christian Church. Martiello volunteered with the Red Cross, tending to supplies and, one day, accompanying emergency management staffers to survey the destruction, noting on her list some houses she knew belonged to the families of her students. Two days after the hurricane passed, before the flood waters started rising, Kenyari Fields fired up a grill, tossed on some hot dogs and started a feeding program that would last the duration and, as it gained momentum, draw many more volunteers from the ranks of LCPS teachers, administrators and staff. http://tinyurl.com/ycr3s8ej

Everyone who was here has a story about the Flood of 2016. Many are heart-rending, some might even be funny when enough time has passed, but none are more inspiring than the stories of people who put the needs of strangers first and, in turn, inspired others to do the same.

Here are two of them, from Pink Hill Elementary School exceptional children’s teacher Amy Taylor

 

and Kinston High School English teacher Sabrina Martiello.

 

Pink Hill Elementary teacher Amy Taylor, fourth from right, with fellow teachers and volunteers April Modlin, front, far left, and Kara Howard, rear, far left, and some of their 'guests' at Southwood Church

Pink Hill Elementary teacher Amy Taylor, fourth from right, with fellow teachers and volunteers April Modlin, front, far left, and Kara Howard, rear, far left, and some of their ‘guests’ at Southwood Church