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Soggy Sandhills stocks up, braces for Hurricane Matthew


It was a busy day at Ace Hardware in Hope Mills on Friday. The owner, Joel Autry, says he is running out of storm prep essentials ahead of Hurricane Matthew’s arrival near the Sandhills this weekend.

ABC11 walked around Autry’s store to find limited supplies of tarps, flashlights, lanterns, sandbags. And plenty of empty shelves.

Autry said the demand can’t meet supply after Cumberland County’s historic flood last week where some areas saw 10 inches of rain. Now the community is bracing for as much as 6 inches or more of rain from Matthew.

“The ground is already saturated,” Autry says. “It’s going to be pretty tough if we get that much rain.”

Read more: ABC11 Weather Team tracking Hurricane Matthew. What’s the impact for NC?

Last week, 4 feet of water nearly destroyed Medical Arts Pharmacy in Fayetteville.

Friday, Christina Washington’s pharmacy is barely hanging on — operating at about 60 percent.

Washington said she is down to one computer, when she normally has six. There are broken phone lines and thousands-of-dollars-worth of equipment, vaccines and prescriptions gone.

“For the past week all I’ve done is put out fires and try to keep on going,” Washington said.

Friday evening, Washington’s employees are moving all items to higher shelves in order to salvage what’s left.

But then there are those neighbors who lost everything.

Flooding from a nearby creek destroyed Shaina Williams and her brother Cleveland’s new home in Hope Mills.

Flood waters nearly submerged the entire house.

A sign outside their home shows the desperation for the community’s help to rebuild, clean up, move forward.

The Williams’ family, like the rest of the community are relying on faith and prayers for Hurricane Matthew to stay away.

“It made us stronger,” Shaina Williams said. “If we can get through this, there’s nothing we can’t get through.”

Residents that ABC11 spoke to say they do not have flood insurance.

The Williams family has set up a GoFundMe page. If you’d like to help please click here.

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