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Washed out road strands Ivanhoe residents

September 21, 2018

Hoover Road used to take drivers into the southern Sampson County town of Ivanhoe. On Saturday night, the flooding from Hurricane Florence washed out culverts, and Hoover Road is now in a creek.

The road is completely impassable, but Ivanhoe residents have found another way to get supplies in and out: a makeshift bridge.

Russell Lee Devane, an Ivanhoe resident, said the town is essentially cut off.

So the only way the dozens of people trapped there are getting supplies is when good Samaritans meet them at the chasm and drop them off.

People have been bringing the residents gas, bread, water, “everything we need,” Devane said.

“It’s hard,” fellow resident Anthony Imes said. “But, it’s life.”

Once supplies like food and water are across the creek, Devane gets to work.

“I can’t even count the number of times I’ve made this trip since Saturday,” Devane said. “Thousands. Every hour, multiple times.”

Devane is a retired U.S. Army quartermaster, and he distributes the supplies to the town’s residents. He’s also providing shelter and transportation to people whose homes and cars are underwater.

He does this because of his parents, he said.

“They always trained me always to look out for somebody else, especially in time of need,” Devane said.

On Thursday, Devane said the residents of Ivanhoe have what they need.

He said he’s more concerned with how long it will take to make Hoover Road passable by vehicle.

“We feel actively neglected down here,” Devane said, “especially when it comes to roads.”

“People don’t realize Ivanhoe is on the map,” he continued. “But that’s OK. We’ve got the Lord looking out for us, and we’re going to be all right. We’re going to be just fine.”

State Department of Transportation officials said they’re aware of the washout and flooding in Ivanhoe.

The department is working through hundreds of road closures statewide, officials said.

A DOT spokesperson said the number of road closures are down to 700 from 2,200. The department, the spokesperson said, will get to Hoover Road as soon as it can.

DOT officials couldn’t estimate how long the washout might take to fix.

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