Bideford councillor seeks help for storm-struck US town

Joseph Bulmer

BIDEFORD councillor Andy Powell is hoping the town will show its support for twin town Manteo in America, which has been hard hit by Hurricane Irene.

“We hear a lot on the news that New York has been lucky to escape the worst of the storm, but nothing about what has happened in North Carolina,” he said.

“It is not so much the winds as tidal storm surges and flooding of downtown Manteo, which is the heart of the town. It is like us having the Mill Street and Quay areas wiped out. In a small town of some 3,500 people you can imagine how devastating that is. At this time the people of Manteo don’t know which way to turn.

“I am not sure what we can do, but this is our twin town and I am hoping that I can persuade the town council and the people of Bideford to do something positive to help.”

Mr Powell has visited North Carolina on a number of occasions in researching the centuries-old links between the area and Bideford and during his year as Mayor of Bideford was instrumental in establishing the official twinning link with Manteo.

He has been in contact with Manteo by e-mail and has been sent pictures of the flooding there by town manager Kermit Skinner and town mayor Jamie Daniels.