Wayne County brothers remember Floyd

Posted July 30, 2015 4:00 p.m. EDT
Updated July 30, 2015 5:07 p.m. EDT

— The 2015 hurricane season got off to an early start with Tropical Storm Ana hitting the Carolina coast in early May. As the peak of the season approaches, decisions made before a storm hits and after the storm passes can take a toll on families and entire communities.

Brothers Billy and Eddie Adams remember when their tiny Wayne County town of Seven Springs flooded after Hurricane Floyd filled the river in 1999.

“You could see the water come up the brick [of the house], about an inch an hour. You just patiently wait and watch, and there is nothing you can do about it,” said Eddie Adams.

Billy Adams jokingly said that if he knew another storm like Floyd was coming he would “put a for sale sign up and hope that somebody would buy [the house] quickly.” But after the 1999 flood, FEMA did come in and begin buying up properties in the town.

Many Seven Springs residents sold their homes to FEMA, and today the town population has dropped from just over 200 residents to about 86. The Adams brothers, not wanting to give up the home they grew up in, were among those who decided to remain behind.

“It was home, and my mom and dad were still living at that time, and if you ever tried to take something from an old lady, it doesn’t work,” said Billy Adams. “I wouldn’t do anything differently.”

When gambling against Mother Nature, there’s really nothing more he can do but Billy Adams says he will never make the mistake of selling his family’s house.