Floodwaters recede in Lumberton, daunting cleanup ahead - | WBTV Charlotte

Floodwaters recede in Lumberton, daunting cleanup ahead

(Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV) (Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV)
(Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV) (Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV)

Dianne Collazo and her family were slowly clearing out the home they had been renting. Everything inside the home was soaked, with mold starting to grow.

"It's awful," she said. 

The floors are buckling and the carpet in the living room is still wet. It is better than last week, though. At the height of the storm there was two feet of water inside the living room.

"There were fish swimming in here, I saw them," she said.

Her family was among many who had to be rescued. National Guard soldiers came by in a boat to take them and their pets to safety. 

Now with the floodwaters receding, the cleanup has begun. It will take time and people should be careful, said the experts.

"Mold is already starting to crop up all over the place," said Tiffany Hendricks of Service Master. She is checking on what needs to be done to safely clean the homes up. Walls will need to be torn out in many homes, floors too, she said.

Patricia Fox said she basically will be starting over.

"I have shed a lot of tears," Fox said. 

She inherited her Lumberton home from her mom and said seeing what has happened to it hurts.

"I don't know where to begin," she added.

State and federal disaster teams have gone through the neighborhoods looking at the damage and determining what assistance may be available. In any case, many people will not be able to live in their homes again until extensive repairs and renovations are done. 

It could be later next year before that work can be finished.

"I am just going to take it one day at a time," said Fox.

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