Dennis Smith Jr. was enjoying one of his last nights before the arrival of Dallas Mavericks training camp with friends at a hip Vietnamese restaurant when his mood suddenly changed. Smith’s cousin, Isaiah Whorley, showed him a cellphone video of a military vehicle submerged in Hurricane Florence floodwaters as it drove through a small town bordering their hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina. “I can’t believe it,” Smith told The Undefeated. “A real big military truck was halfway submerged in water? I can’t believe I am seeing something like that. … I heard the Cape Fear River was at 50 feet.”
Cape Fear is projected to be at 62½ feet by Wednesday morning, according to the Fayetteville News & Observer. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has described Hurricane Florence as an “epic storm” and added that parts of the state have not “seen the worst flooding yet.” “I first started worrying when my dad called me about it,” Smith said. “They said it was coming directly to Fayetteville and by the time it got there it could be a Category 5. So that’s when I started calling some family members to make sure they were straight. I was hoping that the people that could get out would get out. But I also knew that the Smith family wasn’t going nowhere. My dad told me he was going to get his boat ready and he had a generator, so he was going to stay put.”
Smith added that his father’s home got through the storm fine and he is getting continual hurricane updates through a family group chat via text. “My cousin Leon, his house got flooded. My cousin Reggie, his house got flooded,” Smith said. “But we have such a big family that everyone is being taken care of. This is the biggest hurricane there to date. My family is keeping me up to date with everything.”