Duplin County couple keeps the faith as they struggle to recover from Florence

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— Six months ago, a Duplin County farming family lost tens of thousands of chickens when Hurricane Florence pounded North Carolina.

But Warren and Allison Cavenaugh say their faith in a higher power continues to sustain them as they try to recover from that powerful storm.

“It’s been devastating,” Warren Cavenaugh told WRAL News recently.

The couple live along Frog Pond Lane, which became a foul pond passable only by boat and that delivered a snake to the family’s back door.

The floodwaters slopped into the Cavenaughs’ living room and kitchen, toppling furniture and bringing the family to its knees. They said Florence was worse than when Hurricane Floyd struck in 1999.

“This is awful,” they said immediately after the storm hit. And now they are looking to a higher power to get them through Florence.

“It put us in a great bind,” Warren Cavenaugh said. “But we know that the Lord (is) gonna get us through it.”

The family says prayer is getting them through this long, bumpy, messy road to recovery. And the community has rallied around its members as they deal with the storm’s aftermath.

“A friend of mine lent us a house that his daddy had” owned, Warren Cavanaugh said, noting that a neighbor came through when the storm passed through the region.

In February — five months after Florence — the Cavanaughs returned to the house they built in 1992.

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“It means everything,” Allison Cavanaugh said. “This is where we’ve been. We’ve been married 30 years, and we’ve been here 26. It’s where we raised our boys. It means everything.”

The family’s poultry houses are still quiet enough to hear pin drops on the pond because over 80,000 of their chickens drowned during the storm.”

They said they expect to have the poultry houses restocked this spring.

Warren Cavenaugh also works as an electrical contractor.

“We’re making it,” he said. “It’s not been the best in the world, but we’re depending on the Lord.”

Claims from Florence

Select a county below to see losses from Hurricane Florence based on claims for residential property tracked by the N.C. Department of Insurance as of November 2018.

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In Wake County, residents filed 4,234 claims for a total of $21,979,855 in losses. That’s about $5,191 per claim, or $20.89 per person based on the population of the county.

Just as they did when that other thunderbolt struck in 2013.

“That’s when they told us I had a tumor,” said Warren Cavenaugh, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He said he’s cancer free now.

“So that’s why even though this is devastating and it’s been very hard, we know that He is faithful because of what we’ve been through with his brain tumor,” said Allison Cavanaugh. “And he will get us through this.”