Hurricane Matthew One Year Later: A tale of two towns in Windsor

WINDSOR, N.C. (WNCT) – Windsor is one of dozens of towns in the East where recovery after Matthew flows just about as slowly as the Cashie River. For people living along Sutton Drive though, the road to recovery was a short one.

“I got back in my house very very quickly,” said Lewis Hoggard, who has lived on Sutton Drive for most of his life. “I was back in in just a matter of days. About 4 inches got into the house. You know, you’ve got to dry out the house, put heaters on it, underneath it, and above it. The duct work had to be replaced.”

And as the county’s Chamber of Commerce director, he’s working with the town and planning for the future.

“The town is taking steps for flood mitigation kind of hoping to take the most buildings or houses that are in the flood zone and encourage them to be moved or find alternatives or taken down or raised,” added Hoggard. “Something like 25 to 35.”

Hoggard isn’t sure if his home is on the list but says he’s ready for the next flood, although he hopes it doesn’t come anytime soon.

For every success story like Hoggard’s, there’s another person hoping someday, they can make it home.

Just 5 miles outside of town, Quintin Gilliam’s struggles continue. We first met in January at a FEMA mitigation center looking for help.

“I’m just praying that somebody comes by and helps me,” said Gilliam in January.

One year after Matthew, he’s still not home.

“Basically, I’m just sitting here watching my house fall apart,” remarked Gilliam in January.

Gilliam is working with Bertie County to get building permits and said a local church is waiting in the wings to do the work once he has them. For now, Quintin waits. In the meantime, he’s been staying with friends in Colerain, making the trip to Windsor every day, hoping that someday the home that has been in his family for generations can be lived in once again.

The town is also considering pivoting the downtown business district to a location closer to the Highway 17 bypass, a location that is on higher ground than the current downtown area.

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