Whiteville- After Hurricanes Matthew and Florence flooded Paul McMillan’s childhood home, he knew he needed to relocate.
“After two hurricanes back-to-back, there’s not much you can do with that,” McMillan said. “I tried to make repairs after Matthew, but Hurricane Florence washed everything away.”
McMillan’s home is in a flood zone. When the hurricanes hit, water rose under the bridge near his home and covered the power lines.
“With Matthew, water started rising real quick, about a foot of water in the house,” McMillan recalled. “With Florence, my whole house was underwater.”
When the water receded, McMillan came home to find his belongings strewn across the neighborhood.
“When I saw my recliner out in the woods and a strange kitchen door in my kitchen that wasn’t mine, I was in awe,” McMillan recalled.
With a desire to move out of harm’s way, McMillan applied to NCORR’s Strategic Buyout Program.
“I didn’t see any point in rebuilding in a flood zone,” McMillan said. “Because what will happen the next time a storm comes? You can only elevate a home so high.”
Because of the program, McMillan was able to sell his property and relocate to Georgia.
“It’s a relief,” McMillan said. “It’s a great relief. If NCORR didn’t have this program, I’d be stuck with a house. I’m grateful for it, and I thank you all. I thank you very much.”
For anyone considering applying to the Strategic Buyout Program, McMillan has this advice.
“Get your paperwork in order and be patient,” McMillan said. “It’s worth it. The result is worth it.”
To learn more about the Strategic Buyout Program and see if your property is eligible, visit www.rebuild.nc.gov/buyout.