‘How do you even fix that?’: Conway family’s home warped after flooding recedes

Jess White inherited his Sherwood community house on Busbee Street from his mom. It was a family home right on the edge of Crabtree Swamp that had been in his family for generations.

Now, flooding threatens his ability to continue living there. Floodwater warped the wood and left an odor throughout the home.

Jess White returned to his flooded family home for the first time since the rising Waccamaw River and Crabtree Swamp ran him from his house on Busbee Street. “I don’t know what to do and don’t even know where to begin,” he said of his home with it’s warped hardwood floors and visibly molding walls. October 1 2018. Jason Lee jlee@thesunnews.com

In past flooding events, water never reached the house. The flooding following Hurricane Florence was different. The waters crept into his home, leaving behind a destroyed floor and mold.

“How do you even fix that?” White asked looking over a common room.

On Monday, water still pooled beneath the house and his actual pool was entirely underwater, like most of his backyard. While some rooms had drywall, the main rooms are lined with wood. Many of the floor boards were bent, pushed up by the floodwaters.

White recently was injured in a car wreck, making it difficult for him to rip out his washed-out carpet Monday morning. And to add injury to insult, his dog died over the weekend while his house was flooded.

White is starting to do what he can. A friend helped him remove the carpet from the bedrooms, and he is hoping to apply for federal help from FEMA.

Jess White gets help from his friend Cody Squires pulling soaked carpets from his home on Busbee Street in Conway. Monday, October 1, 2018. Jason Lee jlee@thesunnews.com

His mom passed away four years ago from cancer, but she fought it hard and continued to remain active in the community. White says he needs that spirit now to overcome the challenge he faces in restoring the family home.

“I’m just glad she is not here to see this,” he said looking out over his flooded property.

Jess White removes his carpet from his bedroom and moves out into his flooded front yard. This was the first flood where water entered his home. October 1, 2018. Jason Lee jlee@thesunnews.com
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