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Utah Conservation Corps Leads Hurricane Florence Relief Efforts In North Carolina

UCC members in front of a truck: The Utah Conservation Corps volunteers are in North Carolina to help with Hurricane Florence relief.
Utah Conservation Corps
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The Utah Conservation Corps traveled to North Carolina last month to help provide relief efforts to those affected by Hurricane Florence. The team of 19 — which includes members from all over the country — could end up staying as late as January.

Sean Damitz, the director of the Utah Conservation Corps, estimates thousands of people were displaced during the Hurricane Florence and those in rural communities don’t have the resources they need to repair their homes — which is where the UCC comes in.

“We’ve assessed over 130 homes in four counties," he said. "After the assessments are done the teams go in and do mucking and gutting which is basically ripping out walls that have been water damaged so the homeowners can start over again with remodeling and repairing their homes. Our crew members have also cleared out 122 cubic yards of debris.”

Past repairing homes, the UCC has also helped provide other supplies in the area.

“We are also collecting clothing — we’ve collected like 500 pounds of clothing and about 1500 pounds of other supplies homeowners in the area are in need of,” Damitz said.  

Those supplies include anything from food to furniture. Damitz says the communities the UCC is serving are grateful for the help — and its service projects like these that help the organization fulfill its mission.

“Getting to serve the folks in these communities that don’t have a lot of resources that really are thankful that this government program is coming in to help them,” he said. “That makes me feel good, makes me feel like we are furthering our mission to develop the conservation leaders of tomorrow. Because I think tomorrow are gonna have a lot more storms like this because of ongoing climate change.”

Hurricane and wildfire season will only continue to get worse, Damitz says, which is why he says it’s important to work together to provide relief efforts.

“The vast majority of scientists are saying that it’s due to climate change and it’s only going to get worse,” he said. “These are problems we’re going to have to tackle collectively as a nation to move forward and make life good for all Americans.”