Gulf of Mexico
College students from Sacred Heart University and Penn State work with NC Baptists on Mission volunteers this month on a Gordon Road home damaged by Hurricane Florence. (Photo by Michael Cline Spencer)

6 Months After Florence

It’s been six months since Hurricane Florence made landfall in the Wilmington area, and John Pike and his family are still not living in their home.

The house, in the Cross Creek community in Hampstead, was considered a total loss by the Small Business Administration, Pike said. The family found a temporary place to live but still must make mortgage payments.

“We’re struggling to keep the banks off our butts,” he said. “We raised our kids there. We had 12 years left on the mortgage. It was home.”

The home was flooded with about 6-8 feet of water and was not covered by flood insurance because Pike said he was told it was not needed.

“Do we put that money in fixing up a house that has no equity that is going to flood again?” he said. “Our real hope is that they buy this in a buyout program, and they turn it into wild land.”

While Pike expects to know what will happen to his home in a year or longer, he has been encouraged by the unity and help from those around him.

“The community was amazing,” Pike said. “The Cross Creek community had like an encampment for donations that were pouring in. It was a real eye-opener to see neighbors helping neighbors. It was beautiful.”

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