POLLOCKSVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Wednesday marks four years since Hurricane Florence officially made landfall in Eastern North Carolina.
The storm caused extensive damage across the area, and many are still picking up the pieces years later.
“A lot of people lost, I saw a lot of stuff sitting on the side of the road, a lot of people’s personal belongings, a lifetime of pictures. Just … it was terrible,” said Pollocksville resident Darrell Bell.
The Trent River flooded in Jones County during the storm, causing towns like Pollocksville to go underwater. Bell has lived in the area for over 60 years and said he’ll never forget what he saw.
“It was horrible. But we survived it and moving on and do the best we can,” said Bell.
The town is back together for the most part but the memories still remain. The Emergency Services Director for Jones County, Tim Pike, said the hurricane did ultimately do some good in the long run.
“It brought a lot of change in our county that wouldn’t have happened, you know, we have really amped up our emergency management program. We’ve got some folks working here now that are awesome at what they do,” said Pike.
Onslow County’s Emergency Services Director, Norman Bryson, said the storm was originally supposed to be a category 4 but was actually a category 1 when it hit. It lingered in the area for at least 50 hours, causing extensive damage in its wake.
“We were only expected to see 15 to 20 inches of rain, but as it slowed down and all of a sudden, what we ended up getting was closer to 40 inches of rain here,” said Bryson.
As Eastern North Carolina continues to recover years later, it shows the area’s resilience and strength.
“Four years later, things are looking better. Not the same. [It will] never be the same again. But it’s been a new normal, I think come out all this,” said Bell.