Title: Oral History Interview with Aaron and Jenny Cavenaugh, December 8, 1999. Interview K-0281.
Interviewer: Thompson, Charles
Interviewee: Cavenaugh, Jenny
Subjects: Duplin County (N.C.) Hurricane Floyd, 1999 Floods--North Carolina Disaster relief--North Carolina United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency
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.