Flooding damage remains after storms pass


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In Fayetteville, flood waters started to recede Wednesday night. Wilson County is also dealing with flooding.

The National Weather Service confirmed an EF1 tornado touched down near Stedman in Cumberland County Tuesday. At least one mobile home had damage and there were reports some homes under construction were flattened.

"I've been through a lot of hurricanes, but I've never been through a tornado," said Stedman resident Larry Smith.

Smith said, when the storm hit his home Tuesday afternoon, it was longest 30 seconds of his life. Smith and his wife, Ann, huddled in a hallway as the storm raged outside. The wind snapped limbs and ripped up trees in their yard.

"I was in the back, closing a window, and I seen my dog pen picked up and fold, and I hollered for my husband," said Ann, "and about that time the tree crashed and about that time, that's when the tree crashed."

Cumberland County emergency officials say the area along John Nunnery Road near the Sampson County line was one of the hardest hit.

Gov. Pat McCrory, who was in Fayetteville for a speaking engagement, toured the area Tuesday afternoon and evening.

In Fayetteville, the canopy over the pumps at a Kangaroo gas station at Pamalee Drive and Helen Street was knocked sideways by strong winds.

There was flash flooding in Fayetteville and parts of the Sandhills. Fayetteville reported 74 flood rescues.

The Smith Recreation Center at 1520 Slater Street in Fayetteville was opened as a shelter for residents displaced by flooding.

Some drivers got stuck in the rising water and had to be pulled from their cars on Bragg Boulevard.

Utility crews warned drivers to watch out for manholes that apparently were pushed open by flood waters. Some of the worst street flooding happened on N.C. Highway 24.

Drainage problems on Orange Street caused Lashelle McKellar to lose everything.

"All my stuff is gone. It's damaged. Everything is gone," said McKellar. "The water is knee high in my apartment right now."

The saturated soil also took out a retaining wall at Fred Anderson's Nissan dealership. Mud came crashing down onto ten cars, five of them were totaled.

In Wilson, one eyewitness told ABC11 that the extreme flooding there was worse than when Hurricane Floyd went through back in 1999.

The rain left some homeowners with wet basements and their cars underwater.

"We had about four-and-a-half feet of water in our driveway," said home owner Llewellyn Jones. "It was over the hoods of both our cars. Probably a good three feet in the house that turned our freezer over, washer, dryer."

Both of Jones' cars were almost completely covered in water and are now totaled. Jones also said he had just spent $20,000 getting his house ready to sell.

The Red Cross set up a shelter at the Wilson Rescue Squad located at 1902 South Tarboro Street.

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