Fair Bluff’s love-hate relationship with the Lumber River

Their number one asset is also their number one enemy according to Fair Bluff town council member, Randy Britt.

“It destroyed us, but it will bring us back and it will play a big part in that.”

Their number one asset is also their number one enemy according to Fair Bluff town council member, Randy Britt.

The Lumber River.

It was the most popular hang-out spot for kids growing up in the small town.

Rope swings and water slides, fishing, boating, swimming, a great place to cool off in the hot summers.

All just steps away from their front doors.

“As kids we played on the river and enjoyed the river,” Britt said. “Jumped off the bridge. Swam in it.”

Britt has lived in the town for most of his life.

In 2000 he decided it was time for the river to get an update.

He proposed the idea of building a Riverwalk along the side of the river for people to continue taking in the natural beauty of it, but now in a new way.

They built it a foot above the highest recorded flood level at the time.

But in 2016, Hurricane Matthew surpassed that record and a good portion of the Riverwalk was destroyed as the river continued to rise.

Over the next couple of years, they repaired most of the damage but again, last September, it was destroyed once again in the Hurricane Florence flood.

“My heart’s going to always be in Fair Bluff,” Britt said. “I’m going to always live in Fair Bluff or right around Fair Bluff. And I’m going to do my best to see that we do recover from this. And I might not see all the results from that but I’ll be happy knowing we’re moving in the right direction.”

Britt says they are still working to get the parts of the Riverwalk damaged from Florence fixed. He said about one third of the Riverwalk was destroyed this time around.

They are using insurance money to have it repaired but are still waiting on FEMA money to be able to finish the rest.


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