LUMBERTON, NC (WMBF) - For the first time since river levels became so high in the Lumberton area, people are able to get through water and into their flooded homes to check on them.
One mother said they got out of there Saturday in the middle of the night as soon as they could tell water levels were rising and rising quickly. She got a ride to take her and her four kids to Charlotte to stay with family until she couldn't wait any longer to see what their home looks like now.
"Oh my gosh, the first feeling, I was just nervous in the stomach. I've been throwing up for the last few days, cant keep food down, just traumatized because we've never experienced anything like this. So my children, they are going through it, but we are pulling together," said Latoya Cain.
She said for six days the feeling of the unknown haunted her.
"He just kept saying, 'Mom, I don't want to die, I don't want to die.' That was the scariest thing to see my son go through that," Cain said, noting the feeling of chaos and not knowing where help was coming from.
"We didn't know what to expect, we really didn't. But we're just glad, you know, it's emotional, it's an emotional state that everybody is in," she said.
So on day six, Cain took her daughter and friends and saw what the water left behind in her home. She said she recovered what she could salvage and put it in one suitcase.
"Shoes for my daughters - I have three girls and one boy - so we got a pair of pants, some shirts and things like that, but that was it," she said.
Beforehand, Cain said she met with the disaster survivor assistance teams in Robeson County Friday, who are helping people register for assistance to get guidance as to what to do now with a home that is not livable.
"Everybody is just at a standstill, you know. We are just waiting, you know. He just let us know the condition that everything is in and we have to relocate. That's what they are there for. We are just hoping they can get us somewhere else to stay, because we don't have a home right now," she said.
North Carolina Congressman Robert Pittenger gave a FEMA update as of Friday afternoon.
"Over 24,000 people have already registered for assistance and $6 million has been approved so far," said Robert Pittenger.
It's on the southern side of Lumberton, very close to Main Street where so many other people, too, were walking through waist-deep water trying to get the answers they have been waiting for since having to evacuate.
One woman and her sister said they were nervous knowing this day would come.
"There's no place like seeing home, it felt so good, knowing that my house was still there. When I first got in there, I was like, 'Oh God, let me breath and see what's messed up or not,'" said Balinda McRae.
She said she couldn't sleep at night, wondering how high the water came up.
"In my mind, I have to see it for myself before I believe it, when they said the water went down, I came through that water, I had to see my house."
Both families said this time is when everyone has to pull together to move forward. They said having each other is worth far more than losing materialistic things or temporarily being out of their homes.