Two years later, Hurricane Florence-damaged home gets torn down and a new one built

Cynthia Henry’s life is finally getting back to normal, two years after Hurricane Florence
Updated: Nov. 6, 2020 at 5:20 PM EST
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PENDER, N.C. (WECT) - In the two years since Hurricane Florence devastated parts of southeastern North Carolina, many families have rebuilt their homes and lives. For others, the road back to normal has taken much longer. Cynthia Henry’s journey will soon be over.

Two plus years of waiting is almost over. Hurricane Florence ruined her old home here in Pender County. Roof damage, no access to electricity and then mold took over.

“It was like you didn’t even want to wake up in the morning because this is what you had to deal with," said Henry. "Not knowing where you’re going to live, how you’re going to fix all these repairs and damages. It was scary.”

Henry struggled to find help to recover.

When her house became unlivable, Henry had to live with her daughter. Then earlier this year, she moved into an R/V. That’s a story that Ginny Peterson of the New Hanover Disaster Coalition has heard too often since the storm hit.

“Just the fact that people are still suffering this long after the hurricane is sad," said Peterson. "But we try to provide hope.”

Groups from the Harrelson Center in Wilmington such as the the Disaster Coalition, Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities, among others became Cynthia’s lifeline.

Workers tore down her damaged home and began putting the pieces of a new one together. Lifting the spirits of a woman who for so long did not have much hope, but who now can see the end of her road to recovery.

“I don’t know what I would’ve done without them," said Henry. "They came and rescued me, exactly what they did. They rescued me.”

The New Hanover Disaster Coalition says between New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties, there are still more than 200 families still in need of having their homes repaired.

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