FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) --Gov. Pat McCrory visited Fayetteville on Monday with a message for all those ravaged by Hurricane Matthew: Help is on the way.
It was exactly what Fayetteville businessman Bobby Swilley wanted to hear. Swilley owns Carolina Specialties International, the business McCrory was standing in front of and next to an enormous hole in the ground that washed away in Saturday's flooding.
Problem for Swilley was, McCrory made a point of saying "help" would be directed to people without insurance. Swilley has flood insurance and said he expects it will cover his losses (which Swilley put in the hundreds of thousands). The problem, he said, is the delay that often goes hand in hand with typical insurance.
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"We are not asking for a grant," Swilley told ABC11 after the governor's press conference, "we are not asking for a gift, just let us borrow the money. And make it quick."
Speed is of the essence. Swilley said he expects his business won't be up and running again for as much as a month. That's a big delay that would hamper many small businesses.
Swilley and his staff of 15 employees tried to stave off the water; Swilley told ABC11 they filled 400 sandbags and stacked them three feet high around the walls of his production shop.
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"We'd have to have gone another three feet," he said. "Those are stacked 36 inches high. And the water was two or three feet above that. So we're looking at five or six feet of water here."
Inside Swilley's waterlogged shop stood two embroidery machines he put around $50,000 each, dozens of boxes filled with now-unusable shirts, coats, smocks, caps, etc., and hundreds of now-ruined drawings that served as the foundation for Swilley's customers.
"Screen printing, embroidery, blank goods, T-shirts, hats, thousands of them," he said, looking at shelves of inventor. "Gone. Completely, totally gone."
"I'm not concerned about the insurance, though," Swilley continued. "I have flood insurance; I think we'll settle on that. What I'm concerned about now is the structure of the building. Is it safe? Because a lot of water came through here."
Swilley says that inspection is one of the reasons he needs an extra cash infusion right now. In the meantime, he's hoping the city will give him an up or down -- yes, his building is ok and he can rebuild on site; no, his building is dangerous and he has to find a new place to set up shop.
"The hard part," he said, "is that we have 15 employees. They've got children, and car payments, and house payments. So what we need is immediate help. Borrowing money. We'll go with FEMA. We'll go with State. Whatever we can get. But we need the help. Every day we wait is another day we're out of business."
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