Florence Aftermath: Victims return home to heartbreak

Woman loses memories and more following storm

Florence Aftermath: Residents return home to heartbreak

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Some people in North Carolina are making their way home to find devastation from flood waters.

Over the weekend, houses in Stoney Creek Plantation were filled with water more than six feet high.

Vicky Zelenka has lived in the neighborhood for 15 years, but in one night, those years of happiness washed away.

“I’ve lost my life, all my memories, everything is gone. Dear God, please help me,” Zelenka said. “These pictures can never be replaced, albums, pictures of my grandchildren.”

Walking through her sodden home, there are sights of appliance toppled, furniture upended and waterlogged memories.

“My husband passed away one year ago from the day of the hurricane. I feel like my life is gone,” Zelenka said. She moved to the area in 2005 from Pennsylvania. She said a surveyor rated her home in the 100 year flood plain.

“I realize this was an extreme circumstance, but not this extent … Not to wipe out this entire community,” Zelenka said.

On Monday, more than two dozen homes were still underwater. The only way in was by boat or canoe, but now that the water is receding, the real nightmare begins.

“One of my neighbors called me. He’s crying because his truck, his daughter’s car are here. They’re both gone. The whole bottom of his house is gone and he doesn’t have flood insurance. What do we do? what do people like us do,” she asked.

While it seemed all hope was gone, a handful of contractors helping mitigation at Zelenka’s home were determined to help. Their eyes were welling with tears as they searched through the muck.

They found an urn filled with the hurricane victim’s ashes. It was a little hope for a woman broken by Hurricane Florence.

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