Water in South Mills remains as Elizabeth City starts to dry out

SOUTH MILLS, N.C. (WAVY) – Several days after Hurricane Matthew left the area, flood water in South Mills, North Carolina is slowly receding. Several roads were still impassable Thursday, including Muddy Road.

WAVY News’ Erin Kelly climbed on what used to be a military truck with South Mills Fire Chief Tommy Banks to survey areas that were unreachable days earlier. Banks said the fire department and National Guard had evacuated as many as 60 residents from their homes this week.The department continues to help residents who need to make appointments or reach their cars to go to work, he said.

Fatima Benson lives in a neighborhood still partially covered in water. She had not been to work in days. In fact, she had not gone outside since Saturday.

“We couldn’t get out of the house. This is the first day we’ve ventured out of the house because the water was going inside of the galoshes,” she said.

She said the water in the back yard covered her swimming pool and reached the diving board days earlier.

“This was the part that I was amazed, that you could not see a pool that was here. Everything, the garbage cans, were floating all over, everything was floating,” she said.

Her home was spared, but her garage had flood damage.

“It’s sad, but you know, we have our lives. We have a house, we have food, we have water, we have friends that are coming in and out,” Benson said.

Banks estimated it could take another two to three days for the water to recede enough for drivers to get through currently impassable areas.

In the Oxford Heights neighborhood of Elizabeth City, residents were cleaning up from the flood. Discarded furniture, carpet and home appliances lined the streets.

The Red Cross drove around distributing clean up kits, water and food.

Pattie Ollis lost many of the things in her garage when nearly 20 inches of water flowed in.

“It’s just frustrating to go through this, and at my age I can’t keep up doing this, so I’ll never be able to sell my house, so I may end up walking away from it,” Ollis said.