Evergreen, NC- Ronnie and Estelle Rockwell remember when Hurricanes Matthew and Florence came through Columbus County as if it were yesterday.
“We got hit back-to-back,” Ronnie recalls. “We were without power for seven days and our home flooded. We lost our roof and our water pump.”
“There’s no word to describe what we’ve been through,” said Estelle. “We’ve lived in this home for over 30 years. We’ve raised children and grandchildren in this home.”
Devastated and reeling from the amount of damage, the Rockwells began the daunting process of trying to rebuild. FEMA provided some assistance, but not enough to cover all the repairs their storm-damaged home required.
“We were at our wits end,” Estelle said. “I thought we were going to have to move somewhere else, and we didn’t want that. This is our home.”
The Rockwells heard about ReBuild NC from a cousin who received assistance from the Homeowner Recovery program. Feeling hopeful, they decided to apply. The amount of damage the storms caused made their home unsalvageable and they qualified to receive a new one.
“We were sad to lose our home of so many years, but we are grateful that the program built us a new one," Ronnie said. "We got to pick the floor plan and get something that fits our needs now that we are older.”
“My favorite part is the kitchen and the pantry,” Estelle said. “I’m looking forward to entertaining.”
With three children, 12 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren, the Rockwells are already planning for holidays and family celebrations in their new home. They moved into their home in November 2022, just in time for their first big celebration.
“We’re celebrating 51 years of marriage,” Ronnie said. “It’s the first big event of many more to come.”
“We’re home. I can’t believe we’re finally home,” Estelle exclaimed. “We are so grateful!”