Robeson County family thankful for NC Baptist Men, who are helping rebuild home destroyed by Hurricane Florence

This story is part of our 2020 hurricane special Storm Ready 2020: Preparing in a Pandemic

Thursday, June 11, 2020
NC Baptist Men help rebuild family's home 1.5 years after Florence
NC Baptist Men help rebuild family's home 1.5 years after Florence.

ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- The sound of rain is soothing enough to put the busiest minds to rest but, thanks to Hurricane Florence, the pitter-patter sounds now keep Beverly Dawson awake at night.

"All the time. And I worry about two things. I worry about the fact there's a good possibility that we could lose this house eventually because the river is so close," Beverly Dawson explained.

During Florence, the Lumber River nearly swallowed the Dawsons' home.

"The water had come in so granddaughter, I had to tote her out to the vehicle," Dawson said.

Once the waters waned, Beverly finally had the strength to see what was left-it's even harder to describe.

"It just looked like, 'God grabbed us out of the house and just pushed it.' I mean the floors were like this," she gestured, showing how high the water was.

Walking through the home, the freshly painted walls mask where Florence first signed her name.

"We lost everything; clothing furniture," said Dawson.

But the storm's existence etched and evident by the Dawson's drawn out recovery process.

"This coming September we'll be out of the home for two years. We've lived with my boss. Lived in a camper. We're living in a river house on stilts," Dawson said.

Like many survivors, the Dawsons applied for assistance. But it wasn't until the Baptist Men showed up that they received a true ally.

"With people like the Baptist Men that stepped up and come into our home and to do what they've done. The gratitude is just above and beyond," Dawson cried.

The NC Baptist Men say helping is their mission but ministry is most important.

"To see their life restored and to put that family back together again, we are just very thankful. But it's by the grace of God that we're able to do that," said Jay Baugham.

Meanwhile an already active hurricane season and a pandemic could weaken their momentum.

"Our biggest challenge for us right now is we rely on volunteers so during this time and everything going on with COVID-19, we're still making the best of what we have," said Baugham.

The Baptist Men are looking at being in the Sandhills until the end of next year. Meanwhile the Dawsons have their sights set on summer 2020 for being back in their home.

"To save this home was everything to us," Dawson said.