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Flood victim is grateful for mound of debris at the street

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (BP)–In 22 years of living in his home, John Dice has seen water gather in the lower corner of his backyard several days after a hard rain.
But Hurricane Floyd was different for Dice, a member of First Baptist Church, Rocky Mount, N.C.
Torrential rain swelled the Tar River, about a quarter-mile away, during the storm on Sept. 16. He first noticed water standing in his backyard about 4 a.m.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Dice said.
Thirty minutes later, the water had reached his cars, and his wife started getting items off the floor of their home and putting them on beds. When the water started coming in the house, she waded across the front yard to a neighbor’s home on higher ground.
Dice stayed in the house, putting the computers in the attic along with important financial papers. After the water climbed to knee level, he, too, left for his neighbor’s.
An hour later, his daughter arrived and they waded back through the water to save more items, including many antiques. The water was at his waist at this point and they decided to retreat. In their front yard, the water was neck deep.
Six days later, and after the water receded, Dice still had difficulty talking about that eventful night. Sitting in a motor home in his driveway, Dice closed his eyes and gathered his composure. “It’s hard,” he said.
He is thankful, though, for fellow members of Rocky Mount’s First Baptist Church. A contractor told him to clear everything from the house because the longer the wet Sheetrock, carpet and insulation remained, the more structural damage would be caused.
He called the church the afternoon of Sept. 20. Soon after, a crew of 10-15 church members and neighbors began working. They finished on Sept. 21, leaving two-by-four studs exposed inside the house and a mound of debris by the street.
“If it wasn’t for First Baptist Church, I don’t know what we would have done,” said Dice, one of countless North Carolinians aided by Baptists and other volunteers after Hurricane Floyd’s onslaught.

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  • Jimmy Allen