SNEADS FERRY, N.C. (WNCT) – More and more people are moving to Eastern North Carolina each day, including Onslow County.

According to the latest census numbers, the county is the 13th largest in the state and continues to climb the rankings. The growth means a need for more living spaces, like in Sneads Ferry. The Onslow County Project Tracker dashboard lists multiple new developments in the works, filing permits and some already beginning construction.  

“You already see postings on Facebook saying, ‘I go into the Food Lion and I don’t recognize five people in there anymore. You know, 10 years ago, I knew everybody in the place’,” said one concerned resident, Robert Charles Swartwout. 

Some residents like Swartwout are already uneasy with changes in the community. Newer residents don’t want the area to lose its small-town feel either.

“We’ve lived here for a few years, we’re not long-termers, that the quaintness and village feeling of the area is disappearing,” he said.

Swartwout said more than 200 apartments are planned to be built near him. With Highway 210 only being a two-lane road, there are concerns for traffic along the main road through town. That includes how the schools can handle the influx of students moving in.

“Are the schools able to handle maybe the families that come into the area? You know, there’s always I’ve already heard now that some of the schools are already over capacity, and are they going to be dealing with that?” said Swartout.

Residents are also hesitant about how emergency services will operate with a larger population.

“As you get more and more people in, are the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office going to be able to step up, hopefully, and have more presence patrolling in the area?” Swartout said.

There are quite a few businesses also under development in the area. With only a few restaurants and shops, those who already live there are all for it.