North Valley family’s relatives lose home to Florence’s rage

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A Snelling woman has been keeping a close eye on everything Florence-related in the past few weeks. Her niece’s family has been evacuated, but unfortunately they’ll have to rebuild the home they worked hard to have.

Jen Mattos remembers seeing her niece Ashley Garcia’s home when it was decorated for Christmas. At this moment, there’s a tree on the home’s roof. Its walls are scattered about inside.

Fortunately, no one was home when this all happened.

“It’s devastating, it’s everything that they’ve ever worked for,” Mattos said.

Garcia lives in Swansboro, North Carolina, the hardest hit location in Florence’s path. In that area, more than 30-inches of rain has fallen.

“They were frantically trying to get everybody’s places boarded up, things put away, so they weren’t flying through homes. Then trying to take care of themselves and get evacuated as quickly as they could,” Mattos said.

As deaths began to be reported Saturday, Mattos said she’s even more grateful Garcia, Garcia’s husband Carlos, and their two daughters are safe.

Mattos knows it’s a long road ahead for her niece, but she’s ready to help every step of the way.

“We pray for everybody,” she said.

Garcia’s mother has created a GoFundMe to help the situation. You can find it by clicking here.

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