Published: 2019-10-09 18:14:00
Updated: 2019-10-10 11:29:52
By Gilbert Baez, WRAL reporter
Fairmont, N.C. — It's been three years since Hurricane Matthew left a trail of destruction in North Carolina, and one of the hardest hit areas was Robeson County.
On Wednesday, some residents in the county were able to show off their new homes, erected in the storm's wake.
Residents who survived that storm on Oct 8, 2016, say it is a day they’ll never forget.
Hurricane Matthew destroyed the home of Minnie Hunt, who lived in a house on Cottage Street in Fairmont. She said she has watched a miracle unfold right in front of her eyes as her replacement home was built.
"I never left the house because I've lived in the yard, in my truck, some of the time," she said.
Matthew pounded Robeson County with so much rain that it turned roads into rivers and flooded hundreds of homes.
Hunt had no flood insurance, so grant money from Rebuild North Carolina is paying to fix things up inside and out of her home.
She has been so excited about the progress that she spends much of her time at the construction site watching her home's transformation.
Hunt's new home, like many being rebuilt in areas that flooded, have been elevated to keep potential flood waters out during the next big storm.
County leaders have learned valuable lessons after surviving Hurricane Matthew.
"We're building homes that are more durable and sturdy to the wind and water," said Emily Jones, a spokeswoman for Robeson County.
Hunt said she isn't dwelling on the past. She said her focus is on the future and the plans she has for her new home.
"I'm so proud to know that I was one of the ones who got chosen to get a new home because I really needed it," she said.
Hunt says if she's able to move into the home by Thanksgiving, she will have a small family gathering. And if not, she says there's always Christmas dinner.
Thanks to the grant, she won't owe anything on her new home, officials said.