Kinston business owners survey the damage following Matthew-related flooding

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KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Residents across North Carolina continue to clean up after Matthew.

Lenoir County was one of the areas heavily impacted by the flooding from the storm.

Local stores in the area are still trying to get back on their feet after as the water continues to recede.

Some of the businesses 9 On Your Side spoke to said it wasn’t as bad as Hurricane Floyd because they had time to get their belongings out. But they added that now it’s time to get working.

“That was Floyd in ‘99 right there and this right here,” one of them explained. “[It} got up to right here so that’s about eight inches more”

Business owners along U.S. 70 got their first glance at what Hurricane Matthew did to their companies on Tuesday.

Neuse Sport Shop owner Russell Rhodes said it’s going to cost at least $1 million in repairs to get back up and running.

“All this wood over here, all that has to come out and be destroyed, and replaced,” he said.

A staple restaurant in Kinston, King’s Barbecue is also surveying the damage.

Owner Joe Hargitt said he prepared for the worst, “We got 18 wheelers in here and had them in here by 9 a.m. Sunday morning and were actually loading up the dining room equipment and tables chairs and banquet room equipment.”

Hargitt said during Hurricane Floyd there was a terrible odor in the water and in the business which lasted for weeks.

Luckily, that didn’t happen this time.

He said he’s glad he moved most of his things out but said now starts the cleanup phase, “Mops, power sprayers, we have hired Industry One to come do the dry up and, hopefully, they will be here tomorrow or the day after. I got a couple local friends of mine that will cut out the walls and sanitize everything.”

As for the 100 or so employees at King’s, they are being put to work at takeout locations throughout town.

The employees at Neuse Sport Shop are getting paid as they would if they are on vacation.

The owner of Neuse Sport Shop said it’s important to him to let his employees know they are valued and he will do everything to keep them safe with a paycheck.

If you are temporarily out of a job due to flooding, 9 On Your Side has the steps you need to file for unemployment.

NC Works manager Neal Anderson said people need to apply immediately. He said all you need to do is call the Division of Employment Security or log on to its website.

Anderson said you need to tell the person it should be under Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

“What they will do is take the earnings in the last two quarters, divide by 52 to get a weekly amount with the weekly amount being capped at $350, so yes it does vary on the persons earnings,” explained Neal Anderson, Pitt County NC Works manager.

Anderson said Governor Pat McCrory waived the normal waiting week and there will not be a work search requirement.

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