Home destroyed by Florence, teacher feels she fell through the cracks

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— Laura Danes’ home for 25 years was deemed uninhabitable after Hurricane Florence.

Water filled her basement, and much of what was inside it was ruined. Now, most of it sits in her driveway. A 30-yard dumpster, she said, is “full to the very top.”

When Florence came through Durham, Northgate Park was under water, as were parts of the Old Farm neighborhood.

Danes’ home, off Cole Mill Road, backs up to a creek bed. She said she saw water rise rapidly.

“We were headed out the door,” Danes said. “I had my hand on the doorknob, and I heard the wall collapse. I truly thought the whole house was going to fall down on me.”
The cost to fix that foundation wall, the HVAC system and the hot water heater, she says, will be at least $30,000 dollars.

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“That’s the kind of money most people don’t just have lying around, especially not preschool teachers,” Danes said.

She’s a career teacher, now back in school to get further certifications.

She said she hadn’t experienced flooding issues before, and she’s concerned with Hurricane Michael on the horizon.

Emergency management officials prepping for Michael

Danes said she feels she fell through the cracks since Durham is not designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a disaster area.

A GoFundMe page is her saving grace, she said. She’s receiving donations from friends, strangers and former students.

“Even though this is the most terrifying experience of my life, I have never felt more supported,” she said.