Volunteers renovate home for man who lost infant grandson in raging floodwaters

ALEXANDER COUNTY, N.C. — Renovations are underway at a grandfather’s home in Hiddenite after November’s devastating flooding.

Robbie Flowers lost his 1-year-old grandson in the flood, and he spoke with reporter Dave Faherty on Tuesday.

Flowers and his family were at the Hiddenite Family Campground in early November when flash flooding killed five people, including his infant grandson.

He told Channel 9 that he still has nightmares about losing his grandson in the raging floodwaters.

“Every night, I’m still trying to rescue him,” the grandfather said.

More than 15 feet of water swept through the campground that morning.

“We got in the truck and started to leave, and the water was done up over the tires,” Flowers said. “And it picked up my truck and turned it around into the current.”

Robbie and his family tried to escape in his pickup truck, but the flooding lifted the truck off the road.

“It knocked him loose from me, and I couldn’t get to him,” Flowers said. “It was the most unreal thing that I could ever imagine”

Flowers said he is very thankful for the help that he has received from people he doesn’t even know.

“It’s like God has put his hands on us and told us, ‘We are going to be taken care of,’” Flowers said.

Channel 9 was with volunteers from the group God’s Pit Crew on Tuesday morning. They are renovating a home for Flowers.

The relief agency from Virginia heard what happened to Flowers and offered to help fix up a home in Catawba County for him. We were there Tuesday as the group worked on electrical issues, put sheet rock up and even added molding in some of the rooms.

Several of the volunteers told Channel 9 they were deeply touched by Flowers’ story and wanted to help.

“When you been through something that devastating -- he actually lost a grandchild in that flooding -- if you can do just anything to help their life, it makes a huge difference,” said Warren Johnson.

The volunteers are from all over the Southeast.

“It’s a tremendous satisfaction,” volunteer Jay Setliff said.

Flowers will be allowed into the home once their work is finished.