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Oral History Interview with Aaron and Jenny Cavenaugh, December 8, 1999. Interview K-0281. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Aaron and Jenny Cavenaugh, long-time Duplin County residents, lost their antiques business and turkey farm in the flooding that accompanied Hurricane Floyd. They spend much of this interview describing their response to the flood and their efforts to rebuild afterwards. Damage to their home and businesses was so extensive that they have been consumed by it and have not had time to stand in line and request help from groups like the Red Cross. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been generally unhelpful, so they have relied on help from individuals and volunteer groups, but they seem to have done much of the recovery work on their own—braving noxious mildew to clean their refrigerator with Q-tips and bleach, for example. This interview provides a picture of a poorly organized local and federal response as well as a devastated and fragile community held together by outsiders kind enough to volunteer.
    Excerpts
  • Floodwaters rise surprisingly quickly
  • Floodwaters rise surprisingly quickly
  • No warning before the flooding hit
  • Escaping the flood
  • Help comes from church groups, not from FEMA
  • Relying on local assistance for flood relief
  • A self-reliant community must look to help from the outside
  • Extensive damage, overlooked by FEMA
  • Confusion following the flooding
  • Woefully inadequate compensation from FEMA
  • Complexities of receiving aid from the government
  • A rude and arrogant FEMA employee
  • Trying to secure compensation for turkeys killed by floodwaters
  • The flood aged the Cavenaughs
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Resources for Educators
  • Hurricane Floyd Learning Object
  • Subjects
  • Duplin County (N.C.)
  • Hurricane Floyd, 1999
  • Floods--North Carolina
  • Disaster relief--North Carolina
  • United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.