Infants' graves are moving as cemetery's land erodes
Posted February 12, 2020 4:56 p.m. EST
Updated February 12, 2020 5:20 p.m. EST
Fayetteville, N.C. — Storm damage at part of a Fayetteville cemetery is forcing city leaders to move graves to a new location.
The state and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency have approved more than $7.8 million to help move about 200 graves at Cross Creek Cemetery No. 3.
Floodwater from Hurricanes Matthew and Florence swamped nearly all of the graves at the cemetery, many of which are for children.
The storms have also eaten away at dirt at a cliff now creeping closer to the graves.
“To fix the problem, we have to get heavy machinery in here,” said Damon Hickmon, the cemetery’s supervisor. “To get heavy machinery in here, these graves have to be moved. We can’t have the cranes and big dump trucks driving on these graves. That’s not right.”
Cross Creek Cemetery was founded in 1785, and the area affected by storms was added in 1930. It had about 250 burial sites.
In a statement, FEMA said Cross Creek Cemetery will use the section’s land to stabilize a riverbank after the relocation.
The city has already moved 170 graves, and there are about 25 more that still need to be relocated.
City leaders hope to have the relocation completed within the next couple of months.