Nearly eight months after Hurricane Florence, the town of seven springs is still recovering.
The storm toppled trees and flooded streets. The strength of the storm left homeowners waiting for days before returning and surveying damages.
Mayor Stephen Potter says it took nearly 10 years before the town completely recovered and says the goal is to avoid a similar timeline this time around.
“I see a lot of resilience and the people that are here decided to be here,” said Mayor Potter. “They’ve had opportunities to leave and have chosen not to.”
Mayor Potter is one of those people whose roots run deep throughout Seven Springs.
“My family home place was here, the lot that my home is on now is where the family home place was for 100 years,” said Potter.
Mayor Potter along with other homeowners are used to rebuilding.
“We are still actively recovering from Hurricane Matthew,” said Mayor Potter. “We still see the signs of damage.”
Hurricane Florence left flood water throughout downtown including inside office buildings.
Fresh pavement and signs of development are appearing.
The town hall, post office, and restaurant have now reopened.
“We realized after the flood that if we are going to survive, we are going to have to work beyond the residential use alone,” said Potter.
Residential areas were spared from significant damages from Florence.
But, the town is still waiting for F.E.M.A buyouts leftover from Hurricane Matthew.
“We are going to have to find a way to merge recreation and residential use,” said Mayor Potter. “We will need to partner with near-by state parks for programs.”
While the town is turning its focus to development, their spirit of humble beginnings has yet to wash away.
“If you live in a place that’s in a flood plain like we are you have to have a love for the community,” said Potter. “We’re still here and we’re not going anywhere.”
The town is set to receive a 25,000 grant from the state to open an R-V campground.
They will begin taking bids on the project within the next week.