Ocracoke’s rebuilding effort after Hurricane Dorian got a boost with a set of grants from the Golden Leaf Foundation totaling $2.1 million.
The Ocracoke school received $900,000 to help rebuild and elevate buildings damaged by the floods.
Kindergarten through grade 12, totaling 117 students, attended school on one campus in separate sections. Since the storm, high school students go to a borrowed building down the road, elementary school children attend a former day care center and the middle school students go to classes on the undamaged second story of the school, said Tom Pahl, a Hyde County commissioner representing Ocracoke.
Hurricane Dorian struck Ocracoke in September with the worst flooding on record damaging most of the buildings on the island.
The water rose up to 3 feet inside the rooms, destroying desks, books, computers and supplies, said Julio Morales, spokesman for Hyde County Schools. Federal emergency inspectors are evaluating the damage to the structures including the wiring.
The schools also received $1.7 million from the North Carolina General Assembly, $1 million in flood insurance and $172,000 from other donations, Morales said. The hope is to have the repairs done in time for a graduation ceremony in June, he said.
Another 27 organizations across the nation as far away as California have offered to buy supplies and furniture when the work is done, Morales said.
“We are very blessed,” he said.
The Golden Leaf Foundation also provided $500,000 to build a new emergency medical building flooded by the storm. Hyde County received $277,400 to repair the Ocracoke Seafood Co. building, $278,000 to rebuild the community dock and $125,000 to replace the trams that carried visitors around the village.
The Ocracoke Seafood Co. is owned by the nonprofit Ocracoke Foundation and serves as the base for more than 30 watermen.
“This is absolutely fantastic support for us and it is so badly needed,” Pahl said.
The Golden Leaf Foundation is a nonprofit established from a tobacco settlement in 1999 to help rural and economically distressed communities in North Carolina.
Jeff Hampton, 252-491-5272, firstname.lastname@example.org