Flooding in Fair Bluff rivals devastation after Matthew

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FAIR BLUFF, NC (WWAY)  – It’s been less than two years since hurricane Matthew hit the town of Fair Bluff, leaving behind devastation and historic flooding. Now the same area hard hit again, this time by Florence.

More than a week after Florence sat over areas like Fair Bluff the water slowly rose and has remained. Unfortunately Fair Bluff is right back where they were and even worse than when Matthew came through.

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“We saw it in 2016 and we never thought we’d go through something like this again,” said Donnie Pittman who currently has two feet of water in his home.

Two years, two storms but the same outcome for a flood ravaged Fair Bluff.

“It’s heartbreaking and devastating to see your town back to where it was at or worse,” said town Mayor Billy Hammond adding, “We are on a slow road to recovery.”

Flooding coming onto Main Street through storefronts that were left vacant in 2016. The time-table of recovery from Matthew looked long. Now it looks indefinite.

“You know we were kind of grasping that the town can rebound and that is can come back. Now that everything’s gone you don’t really know what’s coming,” said Jody Johnson.

Neighbors like Johnson lost a home and a business in Matthew. He like many didn’t have the money to recover and still waits for aid. In fact, Mayor Bill Hammond said the groundwork to finish the aid application process was ongoing before Florence hit. Now it’s back to square one.

Many still rely on meals from the Red Cross and locals who will ship the rest on the other side of town still under water. Donnie Pittman says acts like that keep the community going.

“I’m holding onto my faith and that the Lord will work this out for all of us.”

The Governor’s office promising a speedy recovery, but for Fair Bluff that cannot even begin until the flood waters go back down.

“As far as people saying the town is going to go away. We might lose our buildings, we might lose our township or whatever but as far as the people I think a lot of the people are going to be here.”

Neighbor helping a neighbor, that’s the situation right now here. Town officials tell us FEMA plans to try to have people on the ground here by the weekend.