In Leland, Hurricane Florence flooding ruins homes, but not neighbors' spirits

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Furniture, children’s bikes and personal belongings sit outside many homes in the Stoney Creek Plantation subdivision in Leland. More than 30 homes in the neighborhood were flooded by Hurricane Florence, said resident Randi Jo Rooks.

Rooks’ home also flooded. She said she has flood insurance but so many of her neighbors don’t. So she’s gotten the community together and hundreds of volunteers are helping clean up.

“It really is so sad to see,” Rooks said. “It’s been such a special place to live and we love our neighbors. It really is devastating but I definitely have felt God’s love. I think his love has been so much greater than the devastation.”

Sam Figueroa’s mother-in-law’s home flooded. He lives there with his wife, three children and mother-in-law. The home is gutted and their furniture is in a pile of trash outside.

In addition, mementos of deceased family members were damaged by the floodwaters, as well as his children’s belongings.

“The worst for me is when I actually saw all of my son’s things that I had to throw out because he’s 5 so it’s just it’s heartbreaking,” said Figueroa, getting emotional. “But we have more years, we have more time, we have the memories. We’re going to move on.”

While many have lost so much, Rooks said the spirit of the community is strong.

“I really think our neighborhood is super special,” Rooks said. “We have a really tight-knit community, and I just really feel like everybody has felt not alone yet and that has been my prayer. I just didn’t want anybody to feel alone.”

Figueroa said he’s thankful for everyone’s help.

“I’m nothing short of grateful and just so happy all of these awesome people are here to help us out,” Figueroa said.

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