To view photos from preparation through the aftermath - click the side arrows on the gallery above.
In the days leading up to Hurricane Florence, Maintenance Director Brian Woody lead our staff in taking extensive measures to prepare for the storm in an effort to prevent as much damage as possible to our buildings, recreational areas, grounds, and waterfront. The lake was drained and the Blob was removed and stored. Life jackets were stored and canoes were anchored. Our outflowing creek was checked and any possible log jams were removed. Our trail bridges were anchored by cables to trees.
Drain pipes were added to the downspouts of the main building in an efforts to divert the flow of water from the main building. Water tight barriers were put on the doors to the main building to prevent the flow of water into the main hallway and dining room. Countless other measures were taken to prevent erosion, flooding in buildings and damage.
And then we waited for Florence to arrive. The office was closed on Thursday and Friday, allowing staff to secure their own properties or leave in advance of the storm.
By Saturday night, we were hopeful that the road to the hilltop was going to hold. The rainfall on Sunday morning was relentless causing the water in the lake to overflow its banks, and creep towards the main building, seeping in through the brick walls in several places. For several hours, the floodwaters pounded against the roadway, finally breaking through around 2:00 pm.
The unofficial rainfall at the maintenance shop at Camp Dixie was 22.36 inches. An official map shows the levels in Elizabethtown, south of us in Bladen County, at almost 36”.
Following the storm, our team and several volunteers began clean-up of the lake side buildings and grounds. Shopvacs were used to remove water that had pooled in the main hallway and some areas of our lodging. Carpets had to be cleaned and sanitized. Days were spent cutting up fallen trees and hauling off truckload after truckload of limbs and debris that covered the camp. We were able on Friday morning to welcome a guest group for the weekend. Several groups that were cancelled due to Florence were able to reschedule their retreat.
The restoration of the road to the hilltop is essential to our ongoing ministry. The hilltop area provides lodging and meeting space to groups of up to 72 people. At this time, that area is inaccessible. We do not currently have an estimated cost for the restoration project.
Checks should be mailed to our offices at 373 W. Bladen Union Church Rd., Fayetteville, NC 28306. Please write "Florence" in your check memo to designate your gift.
Posted on 9/21/2018