Some flood victims still can't go home for the holidays

Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Months after Matthew, family still stuck in a hotel
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Months after Hurricane Matthew, one family is still stuck in a hotel.

LUMBERTON, North Carolina (WTVD) -- "Home for Christmas" feels like a dream to the Brayboy family. It's been more than two months since Hurricane Matthew left Lumberton under water, forcing the family of five out of their home.

"Christmas is shot," James Brayboy said. "Right now, we've went through so much. We've lost all of our furniture. We lost everything that my wife and I have worked so hard for. It's going to be another day."

James and his wife, Angela, have been living out of a hotel on Cedar Creek Road since the storm. Their children were sent away to live with family across the country while their parents monitored the repairs on their home.

But just this week, the Brayboys found out that their home was condemned, and now they're faced with the task of trying to find a place to live while giving their children an abundant Christmas.

"She wants a PlayStation 4, a couple of games," Brayboy said. "That's her Christmas list and I'm trying every day. I may not be able to make her want come true, but her major wish, for her to come home, I'm trying to make happen."

The family tries to take the edge off of being away from family by sticking close to neighbors who also lost everything in the floods. For Marcus Chandler, Christmas is an important milestone as their son may not have any gifts on his very first Christmas holiday.

"I'm not even thinking about myself, it's more of my son," Chandler said. "I would like to see toys and gifts for my son. Just to see a smile on his face for Christmas; that would make me happy."

The Brayboy family needs extra-large clothing, shoes size 15 along with any toys for children ages 3 and up.

As for the Chandler family, they're in need of clothing, shoes and toys for their son who is a year old.