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Pollocksville still rebuilding three years after Hurricane Florence

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 8:14 PM EDT
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POLLOCKSVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Pollocksville’s town hall and train station are expected to be reopened by the end of October, nearly three years after the devastation and flooding of Hurricane Florence.

The town hall and train station are not the only places that are still rebuilding.

“We’re still in the process of doing homes in Pollocksville. For at least two and a half years, we have been busy with that.”

Jack Bender of Bender Remodeling

Some residents in the town believe the reason for the flooding in the area has to do with the Highway-17 bypass, saying they feel the bridge dammed up the water, preventing it from dispersing into the surrounding areas.

“We never had a flood like that until they built that bypass,” said John Simmons, a longtime resident of Pollocksville who had to rebuild his home after the flooding.

Mayor Jay Bender was hesitant to accept the notion.

“There could have been some flooding created by the construction of the bypass. I don’t know.”

Jay Bender, mayor of Pollocksville

Simmons had help from FEMA as well as several other members of the community in rebuilding his home.

“I tell you, if [I] didn’t have faith and didn’t have some thoughts about it, I could’ve given up. A lot of people lost their homes.”

John Simmons, longtime resident of Pollocksville

Mayor Bender spoke more about the resiliency of the community.

“I think we’re doing very well to be where we are at [after] three years. We did move the town hall and that’s going to be open. So many of our folks have remained. They’ve elevated. We lost a lot of people, but a lot of folks have come back and I think we got a long way to go, but I think we’ve done a lot. I feel very good about it.”

The property where the old Trent Motel is currently has been purchased by an unidentified party, and Bender says they have plans to build on the property in the near future.

The town has also improved the boat landing near the river, adding a kayak launch and other renovations to the park.

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