As the water rises in Kinston, some resist while others evacuate

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Some people are still resisting evacuation in Kinston despite repeated warnings, officials said Thursday.

Click for more images of Matthew and its aftermath
Click for more images of Matthew and its aftermath

“We still have residents who haven’t evacuated,” said Kinston Mayor Pro Tem Robert Swinson IV. “We’re going door-to-door because this is more than we expected.”

In other areas, where there’s no evacuation order, some residents are going on their own, spurred by the Neuse River’s rising waters.

Raw video: water rising fast. In one neighborhood it increased a foot in under an hour #wncn #aftermatthew

A video posted by Steve Sbraccia (@sbracciawncn) on

“We can see what’s going on,” said evacuee James Sutton. “This is nothing to play with.”

Thursday, his family was deciding what to take and what to leave behind, knowing that there’s a good chance their house will be inundated with water.

“It’s inches from the front door,” he said. “We talk to a fireman and he says he doesn’t think it’ll come in the front door, but we’re taking precautions and not going to stay.”

While some are just leaving their homes, others have been out for some time.

“It’s just the beginning,” said evacuee Sadarian Anderson, who had to leave his home last Saturday. “It’s going to keep rising til Saturday, and it’s just Thursday.”

Officials also say that flooding this time around might be worsened by damage caused by Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

“In ’99 we had structures and buildings that would impede the water,” Swinson said. “Now they’re gone, so the water is getting into nooks and crannies that we weren’t anticipating.”

Gov. Pat McCrory came to survey the damage Thursday.

“The people being impacted the most of the poor,” he said. “When they are displaced they have nothing”

Oone evacuee described the financial hardship the flood has brought.

“We are displaced right now it’s affecting me working because I’m self-employed it’s kind of hard,” said evacuee Quiana Bridgeforth, who lost everything in 1999 when the area flooded after Floyd.

The river is expected to crest around 29 feet Friday night or early Saturday morning.

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