"If there's a bad rainstorm, my house is going to be destroyed," said the 46-year old Hurricane Matthew victim who has spent dozens of hours seeking aid.
It's been more than six weeks since winds from Matthew ripped off half the roof of the mobile home where he has lived with his adult son for almost two years. Draped in sheets of blue plastic, their single-wide trailer stands as a lingering reminder that Matthew left its mark on
More than a month after Matthew ripped up the
Two years ago, Mook and his oldest son returned to
Matthew's force dismantled Mook's roof, as rain saturated their bedrooms, living room and kitchen. Mook tore down soaked ceiling tiles and wallboard. Wet bedding, clothes, furniture and insulation had to go. Neighbors on
On Monday morning, two volunteers with the
"A roof-over is the simplest fix," said
But the path to get
One group could not assist him because he was not a senior citizen and another could only offer food -- not repairs.
Mook said he finally found an email for a county-level disaster specialist,
Watts recalled getting an email from Mook on
"He had applied to
Mobile homes were not the greatest casualty in the hurricane, but older models of the metal-wrapped domiciles can prove particularly vulnerable during high winds. Throughout the state, about 8 percent of the 69,935 homeowners who filed Matthew-related insurance claims had mobile homes.
Several weeks passed with no sign of any help for Mook and his son. A drought has saved them from rain seeping through cracks in the tarp, but any warmth from space heaters quickly escapes the punctured trailer.
Property owners with insurance often forgo contacting emergency agencies and work through the recovery process themselves. Others tend to fall through the cracks -- and most, Shephard said, never find their way to the right place to get aid.
"I've learned from doing disaster relief ... if people have to make three phone calls but get no response, they usually give up," Shephard said.
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