NC community comes together to support firefighters flooded out of station

Image Credit: WNCN CBS North Carolina
Image Credit: WNCN CBS North Carolina

HOPE MILLS, N.C. (WNCN) – The Hope Mills community is coming together to help support a volunteer fire department whose station flooded Oct. 8 during Hurricane Matthew.

The Cotton Volunteer Fire Department Station 4 in Hope Mills was flooded Saturday.

Crews from the station had conducted more than 70 water rescues when they got the call over their radios that their station was being evacuated.

Photos: Firefighters flooded out North Carolina station

Around 11 p.m. that night Rockfish Creek flooded, which sent a wave of water into the station.

They were able to get everyone out safely, along with their apparatuses, some chairs and a TV. Everything else is likely a loss.

The last engine leaving the station had water up to the front bumper.

Still, firefighters had work to do and conducted another 30 or 40 rescues until 8 a.m. Sunday.

Now that things have calmed down some in the area, Cotton Volunteer Fire Department Fire Engineer Mike Rowell told CBS North Carolina that the community is banding together to bring first responders hot meals while firefighters are still working to figure out future cooking arrangements.

The departments board of directors have met and those from Cotton Volunteer Fire Department Station 4 are now playing the waiting game to see what their options are between insurance and FEMA.

Crews from the department are still responding to calls despite not having a permanent home. Rowell said crewmembers are trying to establish “a new normal.”

Rowell said a local furniture store donated seven beds so “our crews have real beds to sleep in.”