First holiday season since Hurricane Florence brings new pressure

NEW BERN, NC (WITN) The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time of year, but for many it can be stressful and it can be even more difficult with many communities in the east still feeling the impacts from a devastating hurricane.

Victims are finding more pressure on themselves this holiday season than ever before.

One Craven County woman said she and her husband lost everything in the home they moved into less than a year ago.

Medical professionals said they have absolutely seen an increase in the number of people seeking help since Hurricane Florence. Many of them are struggling to cope with the fact that they just don't have the resources that they had before the storm.

One of the things they say to do is focus on the new traditions that you can create this holiday season, which is exactly what Margaret Gilbert says she plans to do as she won't be able to celebrate Christmas as she usually does.

Gilbert says, "Not being able to do that is really hard for me. But I have been buying my presents and all and go back to New Jersey where the grandchildren are and two of my children are there anyway. The other is in Oklahoma but we'll go back there and we'll have the experience but it won't be my experience anymore. Not this year."

Gilbert says even though their insurance coverage was limited and a lot of their home repairs are coming out of pocket, she's still buying presents and still doing what they can this year.

Doctors say for anyone that is feeling overwhelmed this holiday season to just talk to someone and seek help either in person or by calling a mobile crisis line or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. That number is 1-800-273-8255.