Ocean Isle Beach faces an uphill climb after week of devastation

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OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NC (WWAY)–Residents of Ocean Isle Beach are heartbroken after days worth of damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaias. Overnight on Thursday more fires popped up across the Island, adding to the toll of nearly 10 homes that have been burnt to the ground.

The mayor of Ocean Isle Beach says she has never seen anything quite like this in a span of a week.

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“I have never seen this much fire in Ocean Isle Beach in the cumulative years that I have lived here, which is all my life,”says Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith.

A couple who now calls Ocean Isle Beach home year around were just two houses down from the fires on Monday night. They say while their home was nearly untouched, they had to make difficult calls to neighbors who lost everything.

“My wife here has talked to all four individuals or more actually that have homes here,”says Ocean Isle Beach resident Loren Shearer. “It was emotional and sad to say.”

The main focus on the island has turned to the fires, but the east side of the island is still under sand. Homeowners and the city have begun to dig themselves out. This area of town was hit particularly hard by storm surge and heavy rains that ripped through the area on Monday night.

“Well, for a small category one storm, we took big hit,”says Smith. “The storm surge was really where the majority of our damage came from.”

It will take weeks if not months for the community to get back to normal, but they say they will not let this keep them down. It will take them coming together as one to get back on their feet.

“This is a real strong community and it’s neighbor helping neighbor right now,”Smith said. “Yes, we will come back. We’re beat up a little bit right now, but we will come back even better.”