CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Homeowners are in week two of cleanup since flood waters took over their street and flooded a countless number of homes along Riverside Drive in northern Mecklenburg County.
The flood waters are gone but the homeowners are still cleaning. Tuesday, they were busy putting all of their belongings on their yards to dry out, as well as letting their homes dry out.
It’s a big process - one that needs a lot of helping hands. The homeowners, along with local organizations, are hoping the people of Charlotte won’t forget they’re still dealing with the damage.
More than 40 homes were ruined in the flooding, leaving many of the residents homeless for the time being. A handful of homeowners are staying in campers or even tents in their front yard.
A lot of progress was made over the last two weeks thanks to the Mecklenburg County Fire Department, N.C. Baptist Men Disaster Relief Organization and the local church just up the road from the flooding.
“When they start weeping and crying and get overwhelmed, I tell them, ‘At least we’re not planning a funeral. And we are going to get you through this,'" said Jack Homesley who serves as the pastor at the Calvary Baptist Church.
Nearly every day he visits with homeowners and asks them what kind of help they need. One thing he mentioned is the desperate need for more plastic tarps. The homeowners are now in the process of drying out their homes and their personal items. To do that, they took all of their belongings outside the home to let them dry in the fresh air, but with summer rain, the items are continuously getting wet. The plastic tarps help protect the very little salvageable items the homeowners still have.
“Sometimes you just have to sit down with the person, put your arm around them and say, ‘I’m glad you’re OK,’” said Pastor Homesley.
Other groups in the area hope to bring in more volunteers this week, saying the more hands on the ground, the faster they’ll be able to get homeowners back in their homes. One of these groups is the North Carolina Baptist Men Disaster Relief organization which deploys teams of people to disaster affected areas within the state. The organization is stationed at the church for the time being.
“That’s encouragement when you genuinely see the neighbors loving their neighbors as God calls us to do,” said Rob Kelly. He’s the president and CEO of a group called For CLT, which helps connect volunteers from churches across the area to do charity work. This past weekend, For CLT organized a massive cleanup. They made a huge impact but neighbors said there’s still a lot to do.
“Your neighbor’s pain is your pain,” said Riverside Dr. resident Sabrina Hilario. “I say our motto is ‘We’re not fine, until our neighbor is fine,’”