Lenoir officials: Hundreds of homes, businesses may have flood damage


KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Lenoir County officials said at a news conference Monday that 814 homes and 176 commercial properties along the Neuse River could have some type of flood damage.

Early estimations for the damage are in the millions of dollars.

WNCT rode along with members of the National Guard Monday, past Kinston staples like King’s BBQ Restaurant and Neuse Sports Shop, which are still under water.

One area of concern moving forward are roads. Hwy 11 and 70 are still closed, but there are questions about the structural integrity of many other roads.

Michael McCulloch has been observing road issues while transporting emergency crews.

“I’ve seen some bridges washed away,” said McCulloch. “I’ve seen five-foot holes in the ground. I’ve seen a lot of broken up drives ways from water erosion”

More than 200 people are still in shelters as of Monday. Unlike in Greenville, many hotels in Lenoir County people displaced could have stayed in during the floods were also under water.

Roger Dail with the county’s emergency services said recovery is their next step.

“200 people in these shelters right now, still in the shelters,” he said. “So now what we’re going to start looking at is housing. How do we get assistance to them.”

The county is looking at the possibility of temporary housing.

The Neuse River crested late Friday at around 28.31 feet, but has since started to recede.

“Yesterday the water on this side would have been at least three feet deep,” said Ronnie Ingram, Lenoir County Sherriff. “Couple days before it would have been at least four feet deep on this side. So the water is receding, and we’re just ready for it to go down so DOT can check the roads.”

Although the road to recovery will be long, commissioners think there is a silver lining.

“We will bounce back from this. We’re a strong community, and we will be a better community as a result of it all,” said Chairman Craig Hill.

Sheriff Ingram warns people to beware of scammers, and never pay for repairs in cash. He also said people should take pictures of their damage, and apply for FEMA aid.

Three storm-related deaths have already been reported in Lenoir County. Officials continue to warn people to stay off of closed roads.

They said if people want to help those in need, money is the most needed item right now. You can make out checks to the Lenoir-Greene United Way. You can contact them here.


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