NORTH CAROLINA -- With major highways blocked and roads that look more like rivers, residents around the state are assessing the damage done to their homes and communities. It could take some areas several months and even years until normalcy returns.
The water in many of the flooded areas in southern parts of Chatham County is receding, but the bad news is some homes are still surrounded by up to four feet of standing water. Around the area of Goldston Carbonton Road and Indian Creek Estates, the whole area is inaccessible by land. Chatham Emergency Management says there are about 15 homes in the rural area, and they're going door to door by boat asking what everyone needs. They say only one family decided to evacuate. Highway 15 501 South, which also combines with Highway 87 is currently closed at Deep River road due to extreme flooding. Also, parts of 421 North are back open after a lot of water spilled onto the highway last night.
State Superintendent Mark Johnson and Harnett County Schools Superintendent Aaron Fleming took a tour through Triton High School and Gentry Elementary School Wednesday morning. Both schools had extensive water damage to their floors, and Triton’s gym floor may need to be replaced. There was also some damage in classrooms.
This is the first set of schools Superintendent Johnson has looked at since Florence, and he says this is a reminder there are some things even bigger than education. The Harnett County superintendent says he does not expect class to resume at the schools until next week.His main pitch to Superintendent Johnson was to waive the days these students have missed, which is about a week and a half of school. He also says it's near impossible to make all of those up.
City of Jacksonville code enforcement is assessing the damage to homes and businesses in the city in the aftermath of Florence. Crews spent Wednesday trying to wrap their heads around the destruction totals. Once tallied, city leaders will use the numbers and turn them over to FEMA to get federal funds for homeowners and businesses in Jacksonville. In the meantime, code enforcement is condemning several homes due to tree, wind and flood damage, saying they are unsafe to be in. Jacksonville officials say to report damages, big or small, call the permitting office at 910-938-5238, or go to the city webpage.
Tributaries from the Neuse River run through the Grantham community. Flooding in the river resulted in neighborhood meadows turning into lake, rising to about 12 feet. Officials say there’s no historical record of flooding to this extent taking place since 1998. They say they performed 20 water evacuations and two water rescues. One resident says Florence was his last straw; he’s now leaving the drive that bears his name and area he was raised.
Three sites have been set up across New Hanover County to serve those in need with water, meals ready to eat, and tarps for their damaged homes. Volunteers with the Civil Air Patrol, Army, and FEMA along with others will be in the area as long as they're needed.There's a site downtown on Front Street, one at Veteran's Park in Wilmington and another at the Rock Church in Castle Hayne.