News‎ > ‎

START West Impacted By Hurricane Michael


Talk about bravery!  Talk about going above and beyond!

Three START Resource Center Counselors showed acts of selflessness and bravery during the most recent Hurricane on October 11.  While everyone made vast preparations for Hurricane Florence, even in our Western region, we felt like Hurricane Michael would pass us by like most any storm.

Well, did it ever!  Our START West Resource Center experienced the wrath of the storm with four trees falling on our facility, all while we had 2 START guests and 3 Resource Center Counselors inside.  One Counselor was located in our sunroom and looked up to see the neighbor's tree falling and she yelled for everyone to get out.  She and her peers were able to get the guests from the house and outside to safety without injury.

The house and vehicles were not so lucky.  While everyone was visibly shaken up, one of the staff managed to call emergency personnel and the fire department arrived on the scene and helped them to gather needed items from the house for the guests.  They were then instructed to take the guests to our local vocational unit where they waited on family members to pick the guests up since they were unable to return to the home.

Our Resource Center is non-operational at this time while we await reconstruction from the storm's damages.  We are in the process of developing ways to assist our START families during this time they are not able to utilize our facility.  We are also helping our staff to find work at our local Health Services unit in Statesville until our home is up and running again.

We are grateful as a START team that no one was injured during this devastation, as things could have obviously turned out very differently.  As the pictures show, we are quite lucky!

A special thank you goes out to Candace Heaggans, Naquita Gregory and Shaquawn Ramsey, pictured from left to right, as they were present during the heroics and made sure our START guests were safe, above all else!  We will be back!  #STARTSTRONG

A special thank you to Cindy Myers and Michael Heller for their help during all of this!

Michelle Kluttz
NC START West Director