Local News

Roanoke Rapids residents clean up after flash floods

Posted August 26, 2012 6:27 p.m. EDT
Updated August 27, 2012 8:17 a.m. EDT

— Local damage assessment teams were out in force across Roanoke Rapids on Sunday to determine how many homes and businesses were impacted by Saturday's drenching rains. 

While it's still unclear exactly how many homes and businesses in Halifax and Northampton counties were damaged, preliminary reports from Sunday's survey show that at least 56 properties inside the City of Roanoke Rapids were impacted.

In Halifax County, officials put the number around 35. Those numbers could go up Monday once crews are able to count several mobile home units that weren't inspected during the initial surveys.

Local residents caught off guard by Saturday morning's unexpected flooding were beginning the cleanup process Sunday afternoon. John Williams, who owns a home on Carolina Avenue, said people on his street weren't prepared for Friday's deluge. 

"It happened so fast, wasn't a thing to do," Williams said.

Tim Strickland, who also lives on Carolina Avenue, said he and his family are salvaging what they can and throwing out the rest. He also said most homeowners on Carolina Avenue canceled their flood insurance a few years ago after getting a notice from Roanoke Rapids. 

"About 2005, we got letters and maps from the city stating that our area was no longer in the flood plain," Strickland said. "The drainage problem had been corrected, and we no longer needed to carry flood insurance."

Strickland said his insurance company had already told him there was nothing they could do.

"They aren't even going to come and take a look," he said.

Some homeowners are hoping the Federal Emergency Management Agency steps in.

Roanoke Rapids city manager Joseph Scherer said state assessment teams will visit the Roanoke Rapids area on Monday to determine if the city qualifies for emergency assistance.

"I hope they will be able to give us a fair amount of damage assessment and be able to help us with reimbursement and repairs," Scherer said.