Continued high water delays FEMA assessment
PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Assessments of flooding damage continued today in Pender County. Pender got some of the worst of the flooding.
Some good news today, though. The Northeast Cape Fear River has gone down more than two feet since it crested Sunday morning. It’s now measuring at about 13 feet, but it’s still too high for FEMA to assess some of the damage.
For the first time since September 29, Butch Herring is able to get to his home that was flooded by the river, but he can’t get to his dock.
“Right now my floating dock has floated up over above my pilings, and it’s sitting down on top of my pilings,” Herring said. “I’m trying to get the boat in the water to get the dock off.”
But as the river recedes, some of the roads around his house do not have enough water for herring to get to his dock by boat.
“Everything’s been fairly calm. Very manageable event,” Pender Co. Emergency Management Director Tom Collins said. “It just takes a long time for the flood waters to leave Pender County. Once that does, then people can start getting back to a normal life.”
Collins says FEMA and the state are looking at pictures and video of flood damage and crunching the numbers. The county has to have $134,000 worth of damage to roads and government property to be eligible for federal financial assistance. Collins says he’s sure it will meet that.
There’s no magical number for damage to homes or small businesses, but Collins says assistance is likely. FEMA and the state were supposed to assess individual damage Thursday, but flood waters are still too high.
“If water will be down by next week, it’s just a whole lot safer to go in by vehicle then to try to do it by boat. We’ll wait a few days and then go in. We’ll probably have a better idea of how many homes we have flooded,” Collins said.
Emergency workers say part of the reason the Northeast Cape Fear River is taking so long to go down is because of a lunar high tide.
If Pender County is not granted federal financial assistance, it could still be eligible for financial assistance from the state.
Some more good news: Highway 53 is finally back open, but Shaw Highway, Croomsbridge Road and Whitestocking Road are still closed.