Local News

Damage To Harlowe Extensive, Not Just Physical

Posted September 19, 2003 2:49 a.m. EDT

— In Carteret County, serious flooding of homes and businesses -- the result of Hurricane Isabel -- caused a lot of damage that could take many weeks to clean up.

Whole homes were reduced to rubble in the community of North Harlowe. At least four houses were destroyed, and many more were badly damaged.

Damage in the community was not just physical, but also emotional.

Arnersey Frasier's dead husband was no longer entombed Friday. Rushing water had swept his casket out of its tomb and left it sittng in woods by the back of Frasier's house.

"I guess I'll just have to go put him back down over there in the middle of the woods, all by himself," Frasier said. "I just don't know."

Family member Gerold Prichard said the pressure in the tomb, combined with the rushing water, must have "just picked it right up. . . just floated it up."

During the storm Thursday, the National Guard had to evacuate about 100 people from North Harlowe. Those people were back Friday, cleaning up and assessing the damage.

Harlowe resident Brooks Stalmaker looked Friday at the pile of rubble that used to be his house. Stalmaker, who has lived here for 19 years, did not know where would live -- or even what he would wear -- as he surveyed the extensive damage.

The house next door was barely standing. Another house nearby had lost its siding, and a mobile home was heavily damaged.

"I lost everything, everything," Stalmaker said. "Sometime this afternoon, I'll have to go into town and buy some clothes, so I can have a change of clothes. And then I guess we'll just go from there."