Kinston store flooded after Matthew set to hold reopening ceremony Wednesday

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Six days ago, Neuse Sport Shop owner Russell Rhodes walked into his store not knowing what to expect.

“It was between ankle and knee deep,” said Rhodes of the water.

Since then, Rhodes, with a crew of more than 100 volunteers, employees and contractors, worked day in and day out, ripping out walls and cleaning out the water behind the shop.

Rhodes said last week his plan was to open by Wednesday, and he’s doing just that.

On Monday morning, truck-loads of merchandise including guns, coolers and of jewelry headed back into the store.

Rhodes said without his staff, he wouldn’t be opening this week.

“Those folks have been here working 12 to 16-hour days, and they are having fun,” said Rhodes. “They have turned it into games.”

Many people helping clean the store don’t even work there or even live in Kinston.

Shante Watson works at Big Rock Sports in Hamlet, North Carolina, which is a large distributor for Neuse Sport Shop.

She said she felt the need to volunteer to help get everything back to normal.

“Without them, we wouldn’t have a job, so I appreciate giving to them and coming back and helping them,” Watson said. “Because this could have happened to us, and that’s the way I look at it.”

Crews cleaned the floors, installed new carpet and put merchandise back in its original place.

Rhodes said everything won’t be back to nearly 100 percent by Wednesday, but he’s hoping customers won’t mind.

Rhodes said the gun range is planning to re-open in the next two to three weeks.

Gov. Pat McCrory will be on hand for the reopening ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday at 10:45 a.m.

CBS North Carolina contributed to this report.

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