As we approach the four-month mark since Hurricane Florence, 9 On Your Side is revisiting communities in the east affected by the storm.
In the town of Oriental, many homes were damaged or destroyed, and the recovery is far from over.
“Some of the roads are blocked off,” said Wendy Carpenter, who lives in Oriental “You can tell a lot of the houses look abandoned.”
Carpenter lost her home due to mold from Florence.
“A week now since it’s been torn down,” she said. “As far as me being able to live in it, it’s been since the hurricane.”
Now all that’s left are her belongings on the curb.
Many homes throughout town are gutted out, waiting for the county to remove debris sometime this month.
Mayor Sally Belangia said the impact of the storm is the reason the cleanup process is lasting months.
“This is the worst storm that has affected our town,” Belangia said.
Noticeable damages include the town’s waterfront.
“Our seawall, our docks, our streets, we have a lot to do,” said Belangia. “But it is beginning to happen, and we are thrilled about that. You have to go through certain procedures, and we are going through that. We have contractors, we have FEMA, we have a lot of people helping us to make our waterfront back to the way it was.”
At Carpenter’s home, she is expecting to receive her mobile home replacement next week.
As for the town’s waterfront, it is unclear at this point how much it will cost to repair.
The mayor said they hope for substantial progress by this summer and for the town to be back to normal by the end of 2019.