The city of Lumberton in North Carolina experienced some of the heaviest flooding after Hurricane Florence moved into the Carolinas.
The U.S. Coast Guard traveled by boat through one of the worst hit areas, the Mayfair neighborhood, in search of residents who needed help. Flood waters aren’t expected to recede for days.
“We just try to tell ‘em, ‘Hey, the waters coming up still,’” says Daniel Paz, with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Paz has helped rescued over 20 residents from the Mayfair neighborhood since flood waters got worse Sunday, thanks in large part to a breach in a makeshift levee at the Lumber River. The river raised more than 10 feet over the weekend.
As officials conducted welfare checks in the flooded neighborhood, many residents said they didn’t plan to leave their homes, despite being warned the water level is expected to rise.
“There’s obviously a little bit of stubbornness; everybody has it,” says Paz. “But, people just think they’re safe, and they think if they made it through one flood, they’ll make it through all floods.”
Two years ago, residents dealt with the damage from Hurricane Matthew. This time around, damage is even worse.
“We’re heartbroken to say the least,” says resident Shelia Humphrey. “Our hearts our broken. Not only for us, but others who I’m sure have lost everything. So, it’s a horrible, hard to understand time.”