Fair Bluff residents call Florence destruction a ‘double whammy’

Updated: Sep. 18, 2018 at 5:36 PM EDT
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FAIR BLUFF, NC (WECT) - Residents in Fair Bluff are familiar with flooding as the town faced devastation from Hurricane Matthew less than two years ago. They have spent countless hours trying to get back on their feet - some having just moved back into their homes just months ago.

Now, the river is rising again.

Homes that were rebuilt are beginning to fill with water once again and families are losing their belongings.

Residents say the flooding in downtown Fair Bluff is already about as deep as it got during Hurricane Matthew (about 4 1/2 feet) but the Lumber River hasnt' yet crested.

Cars and shops in town are submerged in water and street signs are no longer visible.

The mayor said most residents chose to evacuate and the National Guard helped transport people to a shelter at West Columbus High School.

People living in Fair Bluff say Florence resurfaces all the bad memories from Matthew, but the difference this time - they aren't alone in the destruction.

"You look around and everybody has been touched by this, and it's not just us this time - and I think that's what's so scary," said Sherman Axelberg who has lived in Fair Bluff her entire life.

"It's a hard thing to do, but once you go through this thing quite a few times like we have, you kind of get fed up with what's going on. We know it's God's work," said Troy Johnson who has lived in Fair Bluff 66 years. "We can do nothing about it."

Johnson loves his little down, but said he will probably move after having gone through Florence.

There is a 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. curfew in town until September 21.

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