Evacuated Moore County families return home to devastation from flooding

Angela Taylor and her family. Photo by Nate Rodgers/WNCN

LOBELIA, N.C. (WNCN) — Last week, nearly 200 Moore County residents were evacuated in fear that the Woodlake dam would collapse as Hurricane Matthew dumped nearly 7 inches of rain in the area.

A look at Woodlake Dam on Oct. 12, 2016.
Click for more photos of Woodlake dam and Matthew’s aftermath

On Sunday, officials say water levels have lowered and people could return to their homes.

Still, massive flooding left many homes ruined.

The majority of residents evacuated lived in the Lobelia community, which is just southeast of Vass.

Previous story: Mandatory evacuation still in place near Moore County’s Woodlake Dam

During a drive though the area, the devastating impact from last week’s historic flooding is evident.

At nearly every home in Lobelia the image is the same: Wet clothes and rugs hanging over fences, piles of debris scattered and cars with their hood and doors open, just to dry out.

“We lost pretty much everything except what we had inside the house,” said Angela Taylor.

The Taylor family’s home was damaged and four vehicles they own were flooded.

Despite the loss, Taylor and her family calls themselves blessed.

They stayed with friends while the mandatory evacuation was in place.

The Taylors lost four vehicles in the flooding. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
The Taylors lost four vehicles in the flooding. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Their property along Circle Drive has flooded in the past, but never this bad.

“We’ve seen the water get up high before, so we’ve stayed, never really no problems,” Taylor said.

As the family works to get things back in order, they anticipate a rough road ahead.

Many of their timeless possessions are now destroyed.

“We had baby dolls that were passed down from generations, all those gone, pictures, everything, furniture,” said Taylor

And since Moore County is not considered a federal disaster area, Taylor says working with insurance companies is another headache.

“Flood insurance, like I said they only pay what’s in the house, homeowners they will not pay for anything because it was due to flood, renters insurance they don’t pay for anything because it was a flood so you’re back and forth between the insurance companies and nobody wants to do anything,” she said.

Taylor says the state must find a solution and address Woodlake dam concerns before it’s too late.

“This is an ongoing problem that in my opinion the state needs to take control of the dam, the lake and the dam and have some qualified people to do it,” said Taylor’s husband, Andy Taylor.

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