Hurricanes create home repair backlog for Cumberland residents

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Houses damaged from Hurricane Matthew two years ago are just now being repaired even though more recent storms means more people are now in need of home repair.

That means some residents in Cumberland County may be waiting awhile before their homes are repaired and livable again.

On Tuesday, the United Methodist Disaster Recovery Team turned its attention to fixing about 50 houses in Cumberland County that were in need of repair.

Gloria John has lived in her home on Kingsgate Drive in Fayetteville for 30 years. Two years ago, her house was damaged by flooding from Hurricane Matthew.

“That’s mold,” she said while pointing to a spot of it. “We don’t go close to there.”

John said her home’s roof was severely damaged during the storm.

“We couldn’t stay in the bed because the bed was full of water, and practically all of the roof had a water leak,” she said.

With hurricanes Florence and Michael roaring across North Carolina in recent weeks, some faith-based volunteer groups, like the United Methodist Disaster Recovery Team, are picking up where FEMA staffers left off in order to help storm victims get back on their feet.

“We’re putting a roof (and) fascia on and we’re re-fixing the floor,” said Kevin Kehoe, a volunteer. “We’re re-fixing a floor and putting linoleum down and we may get to put some siding on somewhere along the line.”

John lives across the street from this home that’s being repaired. She likes what she sees.

“I said let me take their number and call to see if they can do mine,” she said. “So one of the guys told me that I’m next.”

Contractors are in demand and short supply.

But help is on the way.

“Be patient (because) we’re going to be here until we’re done (and) when there’s no clients left” said Kelly Mathis, who works with the Methodist Disaster Recovery Team. “But be patient with us because we’ll get to it.”