As Neuse recedes, life returns to Kinston

Posted October 20, 2016 10:00 p.m. EDT
Updated October 20, 2016 10:27 p.m. EDT

— Kinston is slowly wringing itself out from the record flooding after Hurricane Matthew.

Several roads and bridges remain closed, including those on Queen Street and N.C. Highway 11, until engineers determine that they're structurally sound. But traffic is again roaring by on U.S. Highway 70, the lifeline of Lenoir County. Before the highway reopened, getting from one side of the Neuse River to the other required a detour of 90 minutes or more.

Meanwhile, all of the shelters have closed except for one at Lenoir Community College, local schools hope to reopen next Monday, the high school football teams are back at practice and residents are taking stock of their losses.

"A lot of cleaning, tearing out," David Wiggins, the co-owner of Ultimate Body Shop, said of activity at the shop.

Desks and computers were hauled out before 5 feet of water from Matthew barged in, Wiggins said.

"Everything that wasn't nailed down or bolted down," he said, adding that he hopes to be back to repairing cars by next week. "We're here for the duration."

On Springhill Street, the floodwaters nearly got to Melvin Anderson's front door.

"It was scary," said Anderson, who can now go home again with the water receding. "There ain't nothing like home, nothing like home."