LAURINBURG — A local man recently asked for help following Hurricane Florence, but wasn’t able to get any — so he created a pump system to pull flooded water out of his yard.
Micheal White of Laurinburg bought and gathered supplies, then used his talents from working on cars to build a pump system that, in his own way, helps his community and his family.
“I bought a pump from Tractor supply and PVC pipes. I dug a ditch on the other side of my road and set up the system so the water would pump out,” said White. “It is gonna take at least another two weeks to get the water out of my yard — I spent over $500 to make this.”
The water is being pumped into a forest, where no one lives, and White has been pumping for days. He lives on Blakely Road, a part of the city that got hit hard by Florence. His small neighborhood is a ghost town because everyone around him is flooded out and most not returned. White says he also comes back to watch out for what his household has left so it will not get stolen. He said his wife and children are what drive him to maintain calm under pressure.
During the storm, White said the water came up to his hip.
“I’m 6-foot-1 (and) the water came all the way up in my house and out to the road,” said White.
The Red Cross drove through his neighborhood and White says he waved and yelled to get rescue attention, to no avail.
“Trucks with trailers and boats just sped by …,” said White. “I want to stay positive but no one helped me.”
White and his family got to safety and are staying with his daughter in her apartment.
The family man says he has learned a lot because of the storm — like how he now knows for sure his land has no proper drains.
“Land normally can not be sold if it does not have drains, but it was sold to me — I am looking at my land and where the water came from,” said White. “If we had drains there is no way this water would be standing here.”
Another pesky problem arises — the standing water has become a breeding site for mosquitoes and tadpoles. White reports there are hundreds of tadpoles in his yard already.
“There should be something done about this, I feel like my community is always last, that is if anything ever gets done,” said White.
White says he went to a local fire station to ask for a few volunteers to help him pump water out (and) was turned away.
“I’m a taxpayer and a landowner, but I could not get help from anyone in the county,” said White.
In the meantime, he plans to come back and pump as much as he can until the water is gone.
“We have well water and it is cut off, we cannot use it while my yard is contaminated,” said White.
His house has been totaled by officials, but by pumping water out around his house, he is not just helping himself but his neighbors around him.
“I try to be a voice for them, we are community residents too,” said White.
Jael Pembrick can be reached at 910-506-3169 or [email protected]