Leland residents still sleeping in campers one month after Hurricane Florence

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Tom Meyer’s home was one of more than 30 in the Stoney Creek Plantation subdivision in Leland that flooded.

“I had no place to take all my animals so we decided we were going to stay,” said Meyer, as he recounted how he survived Hurricane Florence a month ago.

Some residents are living in campers outside their homes, at hotels, in rentals or with family and friends.

Meyer, his daughter, and pets slept on the second floor of his house during the storm.

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“At three o’clock in the morning, I woke up to hear stuff flipping over in my house,” Meyer said. “Furniture was floating and flipping over.”

The water quickly rose. Meyer’s power and phone service went out, but miraculously, he was able to call 911.

“They told me it was too dangerous to do anything,” he said. “We were on our own. I got one more call out. The only one I could think to call was my ex-wife down in Myrtle Beach and tell her we’re alright right now but we need help. I need a boat and I need a ladder. “

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Meyer’s ex-wife posted on Facebook, and neighbor Randi Jo Rooks saw it and found someone with a boat to rescue them.

Rooks’ and her husband, Brandon’s home also flooded. She has organized volunteers to help neighbors gut their homes and clean up.

“It really has really just turned everybody’s life upside down,” Randi Jo Rooks said. “We’re all displaced and just trying to find a new normal for our families but without really knowing the next steps we should do, it’s difficult. A lot of us don’t have confidence in rebuilding.”

Meyer has been cleaning up the mess but doesn’t know if he’ll be able to return.

“This is my home,” he said. “This is all I have.”

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