Smithfield homeowners hard hit by Matthew, prepare for Dorian

Johnston County News

SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) — Some homeowners on Highway 210 in Smithfield are still working to rebuild after Hurricane Matthew, they’re keeping a close eye on Hurricane Dorian. 

Brian Jones said his basement had three feet of water following Matthew.

“I put three foot of plywood on the door and I was like it’ll be fine. I screwed it to it. You can actually see the screw holes where I had put the plywood and that plywood just buckled and it just stormed in,” Jones said.

Photos show what it looked like. 

The Swift Creek created a lake around his home.

“You had to see that water coming this way. Then you had to see the water coming from that direction. Then you had to see the water coming from that direction. It was just awful,” Jones said.

Less than two years later, Florence hit. His beach home in Topsail was flooded. 

The thick, black muck ruined his first floor. 

He spent Tuesday in Topsail moving everything from the first floor to the second floor.

“Stay nervous all the time and you hope that it won’t hit,” Jones said.

Many of neighbors haven’t returned. Johnston County said FEMA bought three of them out. The state one more.

Then there’s Lloyd Cox, he re-built his home ten feet seven inches above the floodplain. 

“I’ve lived here for 35 years. My children were raised here. I’m half a mile from work. I’m home. This is home,” Cox said.

Cox building his home that high up cost a lot, but that he believes it was worth every penny.

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