‘It was just erased.’ A North Carolina community, devastated by hurricane flooding twice in two years, contemplates the future.

First Matthew, then Florence.

LUMBERTON, N.C. — The parking lot is fractured and warped, the plumbing is broken and construction workers are again replacing West Lumberton Baptist Church’s deep green carpet. The Lumber River’s turbid floodwaters, again, overwhelmed the church, bringing mold and moisture and rot.

The historic rains that came to North Carolina with Hurricane Florence last month also brought with them the second historic flooding in as many years, following Hurricane Matthew, which brought similar destruction to this small town in October 2016. Many impoverished families in West Lumberton abandoned their waterlogged homes after the first storm, and those who stayed were just finishing their repairs and recovery this summer when the second storm came through.

They are now forced to start from zero again.

“Everything that we’ve gained just in the last couple years, to try to get back to where we were before Matthew, all that’s gone,” said Pastor Rick Foreman, standing in sand and debris the river washed into the church’s backyard during Florence. “It was just erased in one quick weekend.” Read full article.