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Oral History Interview with Bernice Cavenaugh and Betsy Easter, December 8, 1999. Interview K-0279. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    In this interview, Bernice Cavenaugh and her daughter, Betsy Easter, describe enduring Hurricane Floyd's flooding and its aftermath. They tell a story of fear, confusion, and frustration that reveals a lack of preparation, disorganized and inequitable government compensation, and significant challenges to community bonds. Cavenaugh and Easter evacuated late, having heard nothing about the flooding until it was at their doorsteps, and their efforts at relief proceeded with little help from equally overwhelmed neighbors, who, according to Easter, are generally unhelpful anyway. Government help arrived in the form of inadequate and limiting loans from government agencies and Marines who completely cleared out Cavenaugh's house, despite her desire to salvage some property. The two plan to be better prepared next time and to clean up without help. This interview offers useful insight into community dynamics and flood preparation and paints a vivid picture of the bureaucratic confusion that followed the confusion of the flooding itself.
  • Lack of preparation for the flooding that Hurricane Floyd brought
  • Flooding unites an already close-knit community, perhaps too much
  • Flooding unites an already close-knit community, perhaps too much
  • The church plays an essential practical and spiritual role
  • The flood fosters human fellowship
  • Lack of understanding is universal in the recovery process
  • The government's relief policy: "tough titties"
  • Anticipating little help from the governor's relief fund
  • Vain efforts to save turkeys from the flooding
  • Planning to deal with the next disaster without government meddling
  • 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
  • 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.