Irene victim's home construction underway, 2 years after storm

Irene victim's home construction underway, 2 years after storm (Reporter: Jon Erickson)

NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - A New Bern woman watched construction begin on her new home Tuesday, two years to the day after her previous home was destroyed by Hurricane Irene.

The North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, or NCCUMC, is building Annie Minnifield's home on Chapman Street in New Bern.

The 2011 hurricane blew the roof off of her old home in the same location.

"I heard a boom," Minnifield said of the moment the storm tore off her roof.

The NCCUMC uses FEMA money and donations to rebuild or repair homes around eastern North Carolina after storms.

The group has rebuilt or repaired approximately 600 in the east in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

"People don't realize how long it takes for people to recover," said Cliff Harvell, the disaster response superintendent for the NCCUMC.

The group can build homes for approximately $40,000 because the labor is provided by volunteers, Harvell said.

He expects Minnifield's home to be completed within about four months.

"God put angels in my life," Minnifield said of the NCCUMC.

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