Residents in flood-prone areas of Cumberland County voice concern ahead of Hurricane Isaias

Cumberland County News

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. (WNCN) — “This whole neighborhood is freaked out,” Lexie West said.

Lexie worries every time it rains.

“Every time it rains, hey, be prepared because your backyard looks like a lake.”

This mom and Fort Bragg soldier is putting up sandbags and draining the water that’s currently in her yard.

She moved in a few months ago, saved up money for furniture, but hasn’t bought it yet.

“I haven’t spent any of that money. Knowing that this house could possibly flood, and we’re in hurricane season so I’m just saving my money to prepare in case something does happen.”

When Lexie moved in, no one told her that this is a flood prone area.

The Locks Creek neighborhood is not on the flood map.

The city blames FEMA for that, and says they’re working to get it fixed.

Lexie thinks the city and FEMA need to step up and take responsibility.

“Fema missed this on the map and the city says they have a plan to come and clean up the mess and get the drainage working, yet they haven’t done it,” Lexie said. “We were here a month ago talking about what’s going to happen when hurricane season happens and here we are.”

City officials said they’re doing what they can to help, including surveying the area and looking at potential buyout options.

“Since it’s not their home they’re not as rushed, but if it was there home they would be rushed to get it done,” West said.

While Lexie continues preparing for the worst, county officials are urging others to do the same.

“If you flooded in the past, use that as a determination of your risk now for flooding,” said Cumberland County Emergency Operations Director Gene Booth.

About 1,000 people stayed in local shelters during Hurricane Florence.

Now, because of COVID-19, they say shelters should only be used as a last resort.

They will have a limited number open as needed.

“We try to have a good 12-24 hours ahead of impact to have shelters open and available “

Booth says it’s a good idea to have emergency supply kits ready, filled with enough food and water for three to seven days.

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