Trying to save photos that were swamped in the flood may be a lost cause, but for Dorothy Creech, it is a godsend.
"I lost my husband, and everything I had with him, in the form of pictures were, I thought, destroyed," she says.
A class at Johnston Community College was able to save most of Creech's photos by carefully drying, re-shooting them, and putting together a negative. Students are repairing thousands of photos for other families.
For instructor Gloria Kutscheid, the flood was a call to action.
"I figured, well, with a photography degree, why not take photography and bring in the flood victim's photographs, restoring them and bring out at least a negative so they can take them out and have them replaced," she says.
For some pictures, there is no hope. In many cases, even the students have been surprised at how well pictures have turned out.
"Actually, there were some I was looking at, and I was ready to just throw them away, but the teacher said to keep them because the artist could possibly restore it," says student Tammy Haynie.
"They can lose their home. They can lost their cars. They can lose their furniture, and they can replace that. You can't replace pictures," says student Brenda Faircloth. "You can't replace a child's first haircut. You can't get back those baby footprints. They're just so special."
The service is free, but the class needs volunteers. If you are interested in being a volunteer, contactGloria Kutscheid.