LENOIR COUNTY, NC – Florence's floodwaters are still rising in some areas of North Carolina, causing anxiety for many residents like school teacher and volunteer fire captain Joseph Noble. He spent the weekend helping to rescue those caught in the flooding while also evacuating his own home here in Lenoir County.
Noble sent his wife and three children to Charlotte before Hurricane Florence hit, hoping to spare them the grief and trauma that they endured just two years before when Hurricane Matthew flooded their home.
He told CBN News, "They're not going to be able to get back to what was home before they left, and I don't know if there's going to be a home to come back to when they come. We just don't know."
Since Matthew, Noble has tried to get out of his property. He's been working with FEMA on a scheduled buy-out of his home but that hasn't happened yet. Now he stands to lose his house all over again.
"The human piece says, 'I'm fed up. I don't want to do this again. I'm tired. I'm frustrated. I don't want to experience a flood again,'" he said, pausing for a minute. "But – I know God's got me. I know he's got me in his hand and I can count on that."
Saturday night, the members of Noble's church came and helped him move furniture, his children's belongings, and kitchen items.
His pastor, Allen Stocks, fled his home Friday night in the midst of chaotic conditions. "Between the tornadoes, the water rising so quickly – we just knew that we needed to get out," he told CBN News.
Stocks leads Tanglewood Church of God in Kinston and is prepared for the worst. "I know the river is going to continue to rise. It's going to continue to get worse as far as water is concerned," he said.
The Neuse River is the threat in Kinston and forecasters fear that it and five others in North Carolina will burst their banks and flood their communities this week. The Neuse cuts through downtown Kinston and drew curious onlookers on Sunday, wondering how high the river will crest.
Greta Davis told CBN News, "I'm just trusting and believing and keeping it calm – and praying that the water doesn't rise any more than it is."
The Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations have set up 139 shelters in North Carolina where 17,000 people have fled.
Temiaka Braswell came on Wednesday to a Greenville shelter, just minutes after police knocked on her door to tell her about rising waters. "I just grabbed what I needed and I just came," she explained. "Safety first. I had to think about myself and my children."
Faith-based organizations including Operation Blessing, Convoy of Hope, World Vision, Southern Baptists, and Samaritan's Purse will spread out across North Carolina this week with an army of volunteers, distributing emergency supplies and helping people to restore their homes.
Stocks says his congregation is already communicating needs on Facebook in order to help each other and the community. "It's really hard," he said. "It's hard in a lot of different ways but I feel like spiritually the people have faith. They trust in God, they trust in each other and they're hoping for the best."