Recovery Continues After Hurricane Irene

By: Kelsie Smith
By: Kelsie Smith

It's been over 2 months since Hurricane Irene caused devastation across the East and there are plenty of people who are still far from getting their lives back in order.

"My life it won't be the same," says Ivan Ireland, a lifetime commercial fisherman. The oyster house in Lowland in Pamlico County that's been in his family for generations was destroyed by water and wind, and since the storm his 30-foot boat has been sitting in the road.

"I don't have a job, I'm going to have to go find a job doing something, and I've always worked on the water," says Ireland.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. His home, also in Lowland, that was built in 1927 and has never seen water, flooded. His 70-year-old father is essentially homeless after the storm.

Ireland says he's battling his insurance company, so he can't begin to tear out and and rebuild his home.

"It's totally unlivable. The molds took it over. Even if the mold hadn't took it over I mean water's destroyed it," he says.

But Ireland says with time, they will get through this. And surviving is what much of the island is doing, including Lucille Sadler who lives in Hobucken. We first met Lucille in September, before her home of 43 years was demolished.

"Just doing everyday things was hard, I'm just now getting back to normal," says Sadler.

Since September, Sadler and her husband are now living in a FEMA trailer while they wait for their mobile home. It's a home they will have to raise nine feet to meet county and FEMA standards.

Raising homes is something many people are doing throughout the East, including Leonard Pendergraph who's raising his Canady Landing home in Beaufort County.

"We're having it raised so we won't have to worry about a storm coming through it anymore," says Pendergraph.

Pendergraph is raising his home 11 feet. He says he and his wife are lucky to even have a home. Over a half a dozen in their neighborhood where destroyed. He says his community is resilient, and they are moving forward.

"We're going to rebuild and make this a nice community again," he says.

Ireland, Sadler, and Pendergraph all say they have no plans to move, even after what they experienced with Irene. People affected by the hurricane still have until the end of November to register with FEMA.

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