Businesses get back to normal after Matthew

Published 4:10 pm Monday, October 10, 2016

BELHAVEN — Belhaven fared better than expected during Hurricane Matthew and is already bouncing back, according to town Manager Woody Jarvis.

As the Category 1 storm battered eastern North Carolina, Jarvis said flooding was confined to the routine, low-lying areas, and the town never lost power.

“It lasted longer than we thought it would,” he said of the storm. “We had some water. The businesses that routinely flood flooded.”

Jarvis said public works crews were out Sunday morning, cleaning limbs and any other debris out of the streets. He said crews were also inspecting the drainage system and fixing problems with that, as well, and inspecting town buildings for floodwater damage.

During the worst of Hurricane Matthew, businesses shut down for safety, but Riddick & Windley Hardware remained open to assist residents with emergency supplies.

Jimmie Southerland, owner of The Tavern at Jack’s Neck in Belhaven, said her restaurant was lucky to not experience any flooding or loss of power.

As of Sunday morning, Southerland said Fish Hooks Restaurant around the corner was opening for lunch, and The Tavern would be opening for dinner service that evening.

Jarvis said the wind direction worked in Belhaven’s favor by pulling the water back away from the land and stunting more rampant flooding.

“We woke up this morning (Sunday) to water in the creek and water in the river was actually lower than normal,” Jarvis said. “I think we’re very, very fortunate.”

Southerland attributes that to largely protecting businesses downtown, as well.

“We are so thankful that we didn’t lose power and that the winds shifted,” she said.

Despite the positive outlook, Jarvis said there was certainly some damage, and he couldn’t discount that fact.

“It’s a ragged mess. … We’ll have more to do,” he said. “We’re not quite back to normal.”

Overall, however, Belhaven showed resilience in light of the circumstances, Jarvis said.