Tornado recovery almost over for local family

October 8, 2012 8:24:03 PM PDT
A Cumberland County family remains homeless 19 months after a tornado damaged their home.

With their home in the Cottonade subdivision in Fayetteville still not repaired, the Spevey family is calling a small camper home.

"I say to you no matter what happens, smile and trust God," said Melvee Spevey.

Spevey said her faith is the only thing that helped her get through the ordeal.

"Every day has been a challenge," said Spevey.

Spevey's home was one of hundreds damaged when tornado ripped through Cumberland County on April 16, 2011.

After the storm, the neighborhood off Yadkin Road looked like a war zone. Like her neighbors, Spevey's home suffered wind and water damage, but that was just the beginning.

While most of her neighbors' homes are now repaired, or rebuild, Spevey, her husband and son still live in a small cramped trailer in their front yard.

"There was nothing we could do," said Spevey. "We've never been in control of this situation."

Spevey said disagreements and conflicts with her insurance company and adjusters turned what should have been a six to eight week job, into a 19 month ordeal.

Spevey has respiratory problems and has to wear a mask inside her home due to the sawdust, and mold. She said the insurance company has paid for some repairs.

The family has refused a settlement offer, and the insurance company has dropped their coverage. They are now paying a contractor to remove water damaged floors and walls. Spevey looks forward to having new kitchen cabinets and a bathroom shower.

"I've been without a shower for 19 months," she said.

The family's long journey is about over. They hope to move back in their home as early as Thanksgiving, or as late as Christmas. Either way, there is going to be a big celebration.

It will be a celebration Spevey said of determination, perseverance, and faith.

"Pray and continue to count your blessings," said Spevey. "I don't care how dark, or how bad it seems, there is always a way to smile."

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