Path of the Storm: Forgotten Fair Bluff

Path of the Storm: Forgotten Fair Bluff
Published: Oct. 3, 2017 at 5:09 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2017 at 7:54 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

A lot can change in a year. 365 days is a long time to accomplish something. And yet, on October 9, 2016 time stopped in Fair Bluff, North Carolina. It hasn't ticked forward since.

Ray Lundy sat on a bench in the abandoned downtown.

"We live in it every day and what we knew of our town is a ghost town," he said.

As Hurricane Matthew dumped inch after inch of rain on Fair Bluff, the Lumber River started to rise and didn't stop. Lundy got a call from a friend.

"She called us and she said, you and Mrs. Linda need to get out right now because we've heard that everything on the Lumber River has been compromised," he said.

The town was flooded for days. And when the water eventually receded damage was revealed that's still on on display one year later. Stores sit abandoned with inventory and products still sitting on the shelf. Most everything is covered in mold and thick dust.

"Nobody had ever seen anything like this. Nobody," Lundy said.

Rodney Singletary stopped the WBTV crew on the street wanting to show us how his hometown is still struggling.

"That's a residence as well. It's gone... It's really heartbreaking to see my community, my town, just like this," he said. "And before the storm. This was a bustling, moving neighborhood. These people were doing great. They were doing good with what they had to work with".

While driving through a neighborhood, a woman flagged us down to share her story. Her name is Mattie Nobles.

"I live here and I've been living here about twenty something years. And this is my home before the flood came through," Nobles said.

Through tears, Nobles talked about her life that's existed in two ways, before and after Matthew.

"I lost everything I had and then on December the 6, I lost him also to Sirois of the liver and Pancreatic Cancer," Noble said.

She's talking about her husband. Nobles lost him and her home in the span of three months. She's been living with her sister since - struggling to get by.

"This place here is home and there's no place like home regardless of where you go or what you do, there's no place like home," she said.

Many people in Fair Bluff are still waiting on financial assistance from the federal and state agencies. Lundy says they feel forgotten.

'No money is coming in like it should have been. Nobody has helped these people. All of us who are here feel forgotten and I'm mad because nobody wants to help," he said.

A year later, Matthew might as well still be hovering over Fair Bluff and they're desperate for relief to blow in. Nobles just wants to go home.

"I wish I was here. All of my memories are here. I wish I was here. You just want to be home. I want to be home," she said.

Copyright 2017 WBTV. All rights reserved.