Parts of Lumberton begin recovery process following Florence

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While certain parts of Lumberton are still inaccessible, some are beginning the flood recovery process following Hurricane Florence.

“We lost just about everything me and my wife own as far as our personal possessions goes,” said Ben Todd, as he gave us a tour of his home on Water Street in downtown Lumberton.

RELATED: Florence flooding updates: ‘Sunshine doesn’t necessarily mean safety’ Gov. Cooper warns

Todd said his roof caved in Saturday following pounding rain.

“And then poof. It started coming in harder up here–they didn’t even it get any water in the house there. And it all came up here. And it kind of really threw us for a loop there. It scared me to death,” said Todd.

A piece of sheetrock from the ceiling struck Todd’s wife’s leg.

During the storm, Todd and a family member put up a tarp on their roof to try and keep water out. He added that water eventually made its way into a different area of the home.

Todd’s grandmother lives on the first floor, but fortunately her ceiling did not cave.

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Next door, his neighbor Nicholas Davis was forced to evacuated from his home Monday after water got inside.

“The next thing I looked in the pantry room and there was water all over the bottom of the floor,” said Davis.

When we spoke with Davis on Sunday night, he said he was monitoring his back and front porch. When we visited him early Tuesday afternoon, his back porch had floated into his neighbor’s backyard.

“When it was still almost attached, I rode from the back door to the middle of the barn and it stopped. So I got off,” Davis said.

While there’s still waist-high water along his backyard fence, Davis’ home has electricity and he planned on moving back in Tuesday.

“If the landlord gives me permission, I’m just going to build a fence behind the house to keep this from happening again,” said Davis.

Some people still have been unable to view the damage Hurricane Florence wreaked on their property. Reverend Bernice Cromartie said her child care center in South Lumberton was first damaged during Hurricane Matthew. Thanks to volunteers, it was nearly ready to welcome back kids.

“They had it right, and less than a month, a month–I’m back to Ground Zero the way it was before,” said Cromartie, who is relying on her faith to get through the storm.

Emily Jones, the Robeson County spokesperson, told ABC11 the Lumber River was at 21.7 feet as of Tuesday afternoon, which is slightly down from Sunday evening, but still well above the 13-foot flood stage.

She added the county remained on an 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew, noting there are now checkpoints on entry points into the city in an effort to keep it clear for emergency personnel. Officials continue to encourage people within the city to stay off the roads.

That includes Water Street, where homeowners complained passing vehicles have splashed the standing water on the street on to their porches.

For now, that’s Todd’s least concern, as he tries to stay positive amidst his newfound uncertainty.

“I don’t really know what we’re going to do. But, just like my dad said–we’re still alive, so we’ll rebuild.”

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