Fair Bluff has already been hit by two hurricanes – but if another arrives this year, it could become one of the US’s first climate crisis ghost towns
The water slithered up while the people went to sleep. No text alerts. No sirens. Just the Lumber River, the color of black tea, carrying out its slow, silent ambush, creeping up to the steps of the Baptist church and the rototillers at the hardware store and the 99-cent greeting cards in the pharmacy.
In her final hours in the home where she grew up, 55-year-old Bonnie Savage pulled a load of warm clothes from the dryer and folded them. She was hardly concerned about Hurricane Matthew. It had come ashore in South Carolina as a category 1 and was a tropical storm by the time it tumbled inland and into her hometown of Fair Bluff in eastern North Carolina.
In the past century, North Carolina has endured 15 major storms. The three worst, in terms of cost of damage, have occurred in the past 20 years
To the regular resident, money is money, and they don’t see why it wasn’t spent on their homes. Many don’t have time to wait.