Kinston flood victims trying to adjust to new reality

Sunday, October 16, 2016
Flood victims trying to adjust to life without a home
Briana Owens says it hasn't been easy, but she's thankful for first responders

KINSTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- For flood victims, adjusting to life without their homes has not been easy.

Briana Owens is thankful first responders saved her family from their attic last Saturday from water rushing into their home off Morning Side Drive.

"Just seeing all that water come in. My one-year-old freaked out. He panicked. I panicked. I was like, 'we have to get out of here,'" Briana Owens of Kinston said. "They were there in a matter of minutes."

Since then, the family calls Kinston High School their makeshift home.

"When you live in a shelter you appreciate everything you had," Owens said. "The ability to shower when you want to. The ability to eat when you want to. The ability to watch TV when you want to."

Hundreds of people are now living in shelter after flood waters ravaged sections of Lenoir County.

Saturday, even more water rose to historic levels from the Neuse River. Hurricane Matthew's aftermath devastated the region.

30-year-old Christopher Williams of Kinston is also a flood victim. He's been living out of his car since Tuesday.

"I got water. I got blankets. I can't get to the house. I didn't know I was going to get stuck," Williams said.

Williams' neighborhood evacuated before he could return to get his belongings. On Saturday, despite his reservations, Williams decided to stay in the shelter.

He's concerned about how long he will have to be there -- not knowing when his life will become normal again. Williams says that hurts, "I'm ready to get back home."

Officials estimate the Neuse River in Kinston could return to normal levels by Wednesday.

But it may take neighbors several days to be allowed back to their homes.

The Owens set up a GoFundMe page, check it out here.

Read more: Neuse River crests in Kinston, flooding could last days

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