KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) - A week and a half after Hurricane Florence hit the North Carolina coast, it's effects are still being felt in communities across the state.
In Kinston, all eyes remain on the Neuse. The river is slowly starting to lower back into its banks.
Ed Eason, of Kinston, said his brother was kayking the Neuse just days before the storm. He said the water was two to four feet deep at the time.
Compare that to last Friday, when the Neuse crested at just over 25 feet, causing major flooding throughout the city.
"You feel for them, you hate it for them because going through it your self you know all the work and all the heartache and headache in that," said Eason.
The George Green Harper bridge re-opened Monday afternoon, as water was flowing just inches below its base.
"This is a sigh of relief to me that we are getting ready to go into the recovery phase and we can move forward and get our city back together," said Kinston Mayor Don Hardy.
Hardy has lived through these storms before. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew caused severe damage to his home.
"I do understand what it feels like, what you have to go through, what you have to sacrifice the things you have to do when you don't want to go through it so I feel your pain," said Hardy.
As of Monday, everyone in Lenoir County had power restored, but several businesses remain closed due to flooding.
As the water continues to lower, the spirits of those in Kinston continue to rise, knowing all too well the road ahead to get back on track.
"We must go through it and while we're going through it as long as we have others to help us we will be just fine."