Sampson County residents react to unprecedented flooding

EMBED </>More Videos

ABC11's Heather Waliga took a boat through Sampson County's heaviest flooding (WTVD)

Robert Rankin had to use a canoe Wednesday afternoon to get to his house in Ivanhoe that is now surrounded by floodwater.

The small town is among the hardest hit in Sampson County in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

"It's been pretty crazy out here. I couldn't get back here last night, and this morning I just got this little boat and powered over to the house. I got some clothes, so I'm going to take a shower now," said Rankin.



Officials said the southern part the county saw the worst flooding, including the towns of Garland and Harrells.

Residents said the flooding is unprecedented.

READ MORE ABOUT HURRICANE MATTHEW HERE

"Very surreal. It's just hard to imagine, I mean Floyd was nothing like this," said Ivanhoe resident Willie Moore.

"It was just a very sad day. I've never experienced anything like it. I had to leave my home and it might not ever be the same again," said Ivanhoe resident Lorraine Moore.

The Black River gauge rose to 27.8 feet Tuesday. Flood stage is 18 feet. During Hurricane Floyd in 1999, the level reached 27.1 feet.

County officials told ABC11 a bridge on U.S. 701 at the Bladen County line was in danger of collapsing Wednesday afternoon.

Dozens of roads in Sampson County are closed indefinitely.

Workers at Sampson County Emergency Management Services have responded to 1,900 calls for service since the height of the storm, more than double the typical volume.

"We have a significant number of people still without power, and those without power, some of them are still stranded," said assistant county manager Susan Holder.

A team from FEMA assessed the damage Wednesday. The county is asking for federal disaster assistance to help with the cleanup.

One shelter remains open at Union Elementary School in Clinton. Several churches are also providing mass feedings to flood victims.

CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT TO DONATE FOOD TO FLOOD VICTIMS

CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF SHELTERS AVAILABLE FOR EVACUEES

Related Topics:
weatherhurricane matthewfloodingsampson county newsNorth CarolinaClinton
(Copyright ©2017 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments