Days after Florence hit, towns like New Bern, North Carolina have been left with damage on a scale they’ve never seen before. According to FEMA, 18 counties now qualify for federal relief, with thousands of homes in need of help.
“We lost a couple of columns in the front when it took out the front porch,” said New Bern resident George Bowser. “Of course the garage in the back is gone and it’s not sitting out in the street, so we’ve called the city to come pick that up.”
Residents say it could take at least six months for everything to be cleaned up. And even though the storm is over, the risk of damage is not. “Inland, those rivers aren’t supposed to crest until next weekend. So you’re going to get Kinston, you’re going to get Greenville, all those inland places that are getting dumped on that don’t drain well are going to get flooded with record floods in the next few days,” Bowser added.
That could be a major problem for residents in the area. According to an analysis in the Washington Post, only 1 in 10 homes in the regions hit by Florence have flood insurance. New Bern’s city manager says that at least 4,300 homes and 300 businesses were hit during the storm — bringing the cost estimate of Florence so far to nearly $6 million dollars.