Even though the storm has passed, Howard is urging fans not to forget Eastern North Carolina as it grapples with historic flooding.
Few personalities are more synonymous with Eastern North Carolina than Vivian Howard. Best known as the head chef and co-owner of the Chef & the Farmer in Kinston, Howard recently found herself and nearly everything she holds dear in the crosshairs of Hurricane Florence.
The celebrated restaurateur and television star resides with her husband and two children in her hometown of Deep Run—one of many rural areas hit hard by Florence’s historic floodwaters. All three of her restaurants—Chef & the Farmer and Boiler Room in Kinston, and Benny's Big Time Pizzeria in Wilmington—were also in the slow-moving hurricane’s path.
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Now, a few days after landfall, the 40-year-old culinary icon finally addressed the destruction on Instagram.
“I've belabored making a statement about hurricane Florence and its painful snail's pace path of destruction because I've been uncertain about what to say,” Howard’s heartfelt message written alongside a video (below) of the damage begins. “More than a week ago we started talking about the possibility of it—what it might mean, where it might make landfall, and what would be left to pick up in her wake. Should we evacuate? Should we board things up? When should we close the restaurants?”
“Today we ask different questions,” the post continues. “Is it safe to go home? How much will the river continue to rise? How can we start to fix what's been disturbed? How to help those most affected?”
Howard went on to admit that she doesn’t know the answers, but stressed the importance of pushing forward nonetheless. “Thank you for all your thoughts and positive energy. We're grateful for all of you [that] have reached out with concern and well wishes. Don't forget about ENC because the storm is gone. Our region will need your persistent support and mindfulness,” she concludes. “The work has just started.”
Find out more about helping those impacted by Hurricane Florence here.