As the Florence floodwaters rose, he contemplated taking his life

NEWPORT, N.C. — Paul Pinter was trapped. A river of jet black water rushed down the narrow road that used to be his street. The water was rising fast, rushing into his home.

Pinter, 65, is a 25-year resident of Newport, a town of about 5,000 where Tropical Storm Florence hit the hardest late last week. Much of the town was submerged by floodwaters, which residents said rose several feet in under an hour. It caught many off-guard.

“It was just so scary to me,” Pinter said Monday, two days later. His eyes welled with tears as he told his story. His daughter pulled him in tight for a comforting hug. “Because I didn’t want to hurt my dogs and I didn’t want to hurt myself, but I didn’t know what to do.”

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