LUMBERTON, N.C. -- It's as if time stopped in some areas of the Robeson County town after being flooded two months ago from Hurricane Matthew.
Decorations preparing for Halloween are still on the front doors of many flooded out neighborhoods.
The only signs of life in some neighborhoods are stray dogs and dying smoke detectors chirping.
"I lost everything," said Ashley Locklear, a single mom who is trying to keep as normal s life as possible for her 5 year old son while living with friends. "I don't know if he knows exactly what's going on sometimes he has his moments where he says ‘mom I want my room back.’”
The flood waters forced about 1,000 families out and currently about 600 families are in temporary housing like hotel rooms.
"Everything in the house was destroyed, it's just a shell inside now," said Carl McCall who is living in a hotel. "It's devastating, I had a classmates have a heart attack the day after the flood and die. That's how much stress folks are dealing with."
McCall had insurance and contractors estimate he could be back in his home by February but for hundreds of others it could be years.
"The process is slow, but if you are a homeowner that's not the words you want to hear," said city manager Wayne Horne.
The city is working with FEMA and non-profits to help those who lost everything.
"The recover process, it's not going to happen overnight. It's going to take 24-36 months to complete,” Horne said.
The growing amount of debris from gutted homes is piling up. Contractors are working seven days a week and the landfill is open even on Sundays so crews can work to remove it.
"I got to regroup, I got to start over, not completely but enough that it's a problem," said Victoria Lewis, a truck driver who's truck suffered damage but her home was spared, is one of a few people to return to her neighborhood.
She's started decorating for Christmas and trying to stay positive while being surrounded by so much loss.
"(Victims) should look at this as an opportunity for me to relocate or start another life that's how you need to look at it,” Lewis said.