PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A year and a half later many people are still displaced from Hurricane Florence.
One Burgaw couple is building a new home.
“Saddened” is just an understatement of how Homeowners Sherry and Alton Chafin feel about the damage from Hurricane Florence.
“What you’ve worked for all your life is gone. Your security blanket so to speak,” Sherry Chafin expressed.
The storm destroyed more than their home.
“Unfortunately for us, our son committed suicide in October after Florence,” Chafin added.
Now they are facing another struggle. The couple says even though their home isn’t ready, FEMA told them they have to be out of their camper by March 14th.
“Trust me, the minute our house is ready, We’re just as anxious to move out as FEMA is for us to move out,” Chafin added.
She says after being flooded by both hurricanes Floyd and Florence, rather than repairing their home, they decided to build a new one 13-feet above ground.
They are building it on the land where their son originally wanted to build his home.
“His grandmother left it to him. She had a double wide trailer on it, and so he lost all of that,” Chafin stated.
But they have encountered some setbacks.
“Building materials, contractors, subcontractors, and other people you know that would normally do work, they’ve just been overwhelmed by the amount of work that people need done,” Chafin said.
The home will not be ready by mid March, the day they are supposed to move.
Chafin says she is not sure if they will stay or pay a rental fee to remain.
A FEMA representative says 79 Pender County households remain in FEMA trailers.
A state request for FEMA to extend the housing program is under review.
Until then, residents should continue meeting with their advisors.