Businesses in Kinston begin cleaning up after Hurricane Florence

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it’s cleanup time for many businesses along the Neuse River in Kinston that were flooded by Hurricane Florence.

Laura Pressly and her crew are hard at work cleaning up her children’s store.

She’s owned La Petit Boutique for more than 35 years.

Hurricanes Floyd, Matthew, and Florence have each wrecked her shop.

“I’m still here. Ready to go again.”

Pressly’s merchandise is in storage and will be back on display by next week.

She said her business is here to stay.

“It’s such a great location.”

Next door at Neuse Sport Shop, it is Russell Rhodes’ first day back at his store since the storm.

His team started Monday morning but began their preparations and recovery plan before Florence hit.

Today it’s all hands on deck to open this weekend.

“One of the number one asked questions on Facebook while we were away was how are the fish in the aquarium. The generator is on. They are all happy,” stated Rhodes.

That was not the case for fish swimming in a ditch off Highway 70 just feet from Rhodes store.

The Neuse River spilled into the community shutting down major highways and neighborhood streets.

Many neighbors and businesses are anxiously waiting for the waters to recede.

Although some of them have been through this before, there’s a renewed call to action to lawmakers to pass measures that minimize the impact of river flooding.

“They haven’t done anything,” Rhodes said. “How many times are we going to be flooded before we do anything? It’s not so much the material things we lost. There were lives lost.”

Two people have died in Lenoir County because of Florence. An elderly man was electrocuted when he connected two extension cords outside in the rain.

Another elderly man was knocked down by strong winds and died.

Some people remain without power.

And at least a dozen remain in shelters more than a week after the storm.

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