Cramerton neighbors return home to muddy mess

Homeowners on Riverside Drive returned to their houses today to clean up the damage left behind from last weekend’s rain, and flooding.

“We'll be fine,” said Jenny Orning, fighting back tears. “We'll be fine.”

Most houses on that stretch of the Catawba River are elevated. The garages and crawl spaces were the spots most inundated with water, and everything that came with it.

“Completely soiled not only with diesel, gasoline, but sewage from peoples' tanks,” Orning said.

The water level on Orning’s home shows her garage was almost entirely filled to the brim with water. The floor is now matted with mud; Christmas lights and ornaments stored in plastic bins were still underwater, coated in silt.

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Duke Energy turned off power to the houses until they can survey conditions. For now, homeowners can’t rinse things off if they wanted to.

“This is the worst it's ever been,” said Patrick Ellis. “I mean, across the road [they had] pretty good bit of water.”

Ellis was helping his father-in-law rip out drenched insulation. He says some neighbors are wondering if Duke Energy did enough to lower water levels before the storm hit. Duke Energy tells FOX 46 they lowered Mountain Island Lake four feet, but their team of meteorologists and hydrologists didn’t anticipate this much rain.

“Every once in a while, nature lets you know that it's time to take a step back and think about things,” Ellis said.

Mecklenburg County inspectors were in the neighborhood today surveying the damage, and calculating estimates. It’s their hope that the homeowners will be eligible for some kind of financial assistance.