Home repairs begin in Goldsboro as water levels descend

Posted October 16, 2016 10:52 a.m. EDT
Updated October 16, 2016 11:05 a.m. EDT

— Home repairs were underway in Goldsboro Sunday morning as water levels in the Neuse River started to decrease.

It was more than a week ago that heavy winds and rain from Hurricane Matthew displaced families from their homes, but the residences of many people east of the Triangle are still partially underwater.

"We do still have a number of towns at major flood stage," said WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner. "Some of the water levels will start to come down this week, but many will stay at flood stage through the end of the week."

The numbers surrounding Hurricane Mathew's destructive path through North Carolina are still growing. Gov. Pat McCrory said in his latest briefing that storm-related deaths in the state are at 26, and more than 2,300 water rescues have been performed since last weekend.

Gov. McCrory also stated that a long-term recovery plan will be announced soon, saying that the federal government has paid out nearly $9 million to support storm victims.

In each affected county, numerous volunteers and community groups are also working hard to help hundreds of victims who were forced to abandon their homes after Matthew. A lot of them are living in emergency shelters, unable to return to their homes because of flood damage.

"I don't know what tomorrow's going to bring," said James Crawford, a Goldsboro resident. Crawford and his wife Clarissa are living in hotel room while their home of 29 years is undergoing major repairs.

Nearby, crews are sawing away the drywall, wood and insulation in Debbie Seagroves' home that was soaked last week. It will be weeks until her living room is livable again.

"It looked like a raging river [in my home]," she said.

This damage in Goldsboro is a result of upriver flooding from the Neuse River, which crested at just over 28 feet in Kinston over the weekend.

The river, which was measured at 27 feet Sunday morning, is expected to fall to 25 feet by Monday, but it will be weeks until some victims can return to a dry home.