Life back to normal slow going for Kinston couple after Matthew

Michael Freeman

KINSTON, Lenoir County - Michael Freeman and his girlfriend are still rebuilding after their home was damaged during Hurricane Matthew, thanks to the help of many volunteers.

"Flash floods came in, the house was flooded ... there was approximately 18 inches of water up into the house which would be to about this point right here," Freeman said.

Although it was a year ago, Freeman remembers it like it was yesterday. He said he is still reminded of the storm daily by the damage it left behind.

"The water just started rising up, coming in beneath the door and and just the water was rising from the outside I guess," Freeman said. ..."We moved all drywall, all insulation, all electrical wiring, plumbing had to be replaced, drywall had to be replaceed."

According to Kinston Area Recovery Efforts, the situation is sill a common one for many people in Kinston. Thanks to volunteers from as far away as Franklin, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel.

"People think that the storm is over and things are done and we're just getting started," said Vito Bisogno. "We probably have at least another two years of work ahead of us to help get people back in their homes."

That inspires Freeman to do the same and pay it forward when he's back on his feet. Freeman hopes to be finished and moved back into his house by Christmas. He's also excited to be able to sit on his own couch and watch football, something he hasn't done since Hurricane Matthew came through Kinston.

"The next major disaster I'm going wherever it is and I am going to volunteer at least 40 hours of my time to help those people," Freeman said.

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