Home for Christmas: Family displaced by Florence moves back in for holiday

Updated: Dec. 26, 2018 at 4:56 AM EST
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LELAND, NC (WECT) - For the last three months, the Barbour family has been living in a 26-foot recreational vehicle parked outside their Stoney Creek home.

Their home was damaged in the floodwaters that inundated the neighborhood during Hurricane Florence.

Donnie and Taylor Barbour evacuated in that camper with their three boys — all under the age of 10 — knowing there was a good chance that when they returned, their home would not be the same.

“But we never thought the water would rise up from underneath,” Donnie Barbour said.

The Barbour family was able to move back into their home after being displaced for three months...
The Barbour family was able to move back into their home after being displaced for three months by Hurricane Florence.

Like the other 43 Stoney Creek residents whose homes were damaged during Florence, the recovery process has been a slow and expensive one.

The Barbours did not have flood insurance, and while FEMA did cover some of their repairs, they’ve been directing most of their disposable income into rebuilding their lives, and have been helped along the way by friends and family.

Over Thanksgiving, the family still hosted a feast — but opted for a low country boil rather than a turkey, given that their oven was still out of commission.

But Donnie Barbour was determined to get his family out of the RV and back in the home before Christmas.

“I just didn’t want my kids not to be in our home for Christmas," he said, overcome with emotion. "That’s why we just worked so hard and were so diligent about getting our home put back together. I just couldn’t imagine not being at home for Christmas.”

The family was able to move back into the home the couple has owned for 17 years with a week to spare.

Thanks to donations from their church, workplaces and other friends, the Barbours said they were still able to provide a Christmas celebration for their kids, despite the financial hardship that has come along with the recovery.

“It’s just been overwhelming what has been given,” Taylor Barbour said.

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