Flooding, evacuations continue in Lumberton

LUMBERTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Water has flowed past a levee, leading to major flooding in Lumberton and nearby areas.

Houses, cars and people are all stranded in the water that has overtaken large areas.

Rescue efforts are currently underway.

Gov. Pat McCrory said at about 1 p.m. that he believed about 2,000 people were affected by the flooding there.

Folks off of Dew Road in Rowland awoke to find their front yards looking more like lakes after Hurricane Matthew dumped buckets of rain on already-saturated Robeson County neighborhoods.

“You know, we came out here and see all of this and the water just starting to rise,” said Santana Graham.

Graham lives right up the road and came down to check on her grandfather’s house, which for now is an island surrounded by floodwaters. She said her family is bracing for a tough next few days waiting for the waters to recede and the lights come back on.

“They said it’d be several days before the power comes back on, so we came down here cause there’s a gas stove so we can eat,” Graham explained. “We ain’t got any power down where I live.”

“There’s trees falling over, trees you wouldn’t have thought would fall over have fell over,” said neighbor Billy Jones.

Jones spent his day trying to find gas for his truck, something he found impossible.

“That’s where I went, to try and find a store with gas or power or anything we can use but there’s nothing,” said Jones.

It was the same story up the road in Lumberton.

“Water’s that deep in my apartment,” exclaimed Danny Hammonds, his hands spread several feet apart.

Police and emergency services spent most of Sunday afternoon trying to get people out of certain neighborhoods, some of which reported catastrophic, unprecedented flooding.

Hammonds lives in Myers Park, one of the neighborhoods hardest hit here in Robeson County. He spent his morning helping elderly neighbors escape the flooding. We asked if he’d ever seen anything like this before.

“No sir I sure haven’t. I’m 48 years old and ain’t never seen nothing like this,” replied Hammonds

“We ain’t got nowhere else to go,” cried Darrian Hunt from the backseat of a car on South 5th Street in Lumberton Sunday.

Hunt had been riding the storm out and was surprised she couldn’t get back to her home.

“Motels ain’t got no power, nothing. no gas, I’ll just wait til the power comes on,” explained a frustrated Hunt.

McCrory said that while early indications were that a levee had breached near Lumberton, he had recently heard from the town’s mayor that the water had instead gone around the levee. He said his information was that this was how the levee was designed to fail.

“It doesn’t make much difference to the people below the levee,” McCrory said.

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