Lumberton resident: 'So much devastation in this county'

Michael Perchick Image
Thursday, September 20, 2018

LUMBERTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- With water dissipating in some neighborhoods throughout Lumberton on Wednesday, homeowners began to clear out their houses of flood-damaged materials.

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"The rain just never seemed to end, until finally it just started creeping up," said Bobby Maring.

His wife and young daughter evacuated, but the family is now back together. They live on Tartan Road, where a FEMA Swiftwater rescue team entered late Saturday afternoon to warn homeowners to evacuate.

Out on the curb were furniture, appliances, and backdrops for his wife's portraits. Still, none of that compares to the emotional toll the Marings' 3-year-old daughter is experiencing following two hurricanes in less than two years.

"She's been real clingy to her mom, to the point she can't put her down for one second without her being all over her," Maring said.

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A block over, Philip Taylor gave us a tour of emptied-out rooms in his home, which is still without power.

"There's so much devastation in this county. I don't know what's going to happen. They've got to straighten this out, one way or the other, if they expect people to stay here," Taylor said.

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Taylor had a gun in a holster at his hip, in an effort to protect the property from looters. Another homeowner in the neighborhood noted that with the water now gone, he was also returning in an effort to ward off any looting attempts.

While the Marings and Taylors have been able to view their properties, the Bardens can only see their Stirling Drive house from afar.

"My dad built it himself, and I designed it about 25 years ago," said William Barden, describing his parents' dream home.

Barden is hosting his parents until they can figure out their next step, which could include buying another home with plans to rebuild along the way.

They did not have flood insurance, but said they were able to move their furniture out of their home prior to the storm.

For Donna Barden, William's mother, it's not only the loss of a home - it's the potential loss of close neighbors who may never return.

"I may not either. Very sad. I loved all my neighbors. Good people," Barden said.