Parishioners offer home makeover

Published 1:48 am Friday, July 15, 2011

Glenn Langford (left, gray shirt) and Evan O’Neal (green shirt), members of the First United Methodist Church in Salisbury, carry Sheetrock into the Cahoon house on Wednesday afternoon. Several church groups are helping to rebuild the Plymouth home that was damaged last September during Tropical Storm Nicole. (WDN Photo/Sara Cowell)

PLYMOUTH – A Washington County family that had fallen on hard times will have a brand new home soon thanks to the help of various faith-based disaster relief groups.

James and Sue Cahoon’s house on Long Ridge Road outside of Plymouth had sustained a large amount of water damage from Tropical Storm Nicole. The storm also badly damaged or destroyed 26 other homes in its path last September.

The Cahoons were not able to get much help from FEMA because most of the damage was caused by faulty roofing methods. So they sought help from the North Carolina Interfaith Disaster Relief Commission and its ministry partner, the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Plymouth United Methodist Church was asked to take the lead on the mission and its pastor, the Rev. Jay Clark, to serve as the project manager. Besides providing volunteers of their own, Plymouth United Methodist Church provided lodging for workers arriving from outside of the area to work on the Cahoon house.

On Wednesday, a group from First United Methodist Church in Salisbury was available pitching in with tools and effort.

Bob Poole, a relief team member, provided background on the damage.

“The ladies paid someone to come in and fix the roof,” she said. “While they were fixing the roof, they put blue tarp over it and Nicole hit. It blew off the roof and soaked the house from the top down. This is the opposite of the way most floods occur. Most floods usually occur from the bottom up.”

Poole explained some of the details of the repair work.

“The first time, we worked on it for three days,” he said. “We took it from bare. It was totally stripped. Joints were exposed. You could see out through the house. All the siding was off, and there was no sheeting or flooring on it. The roof had sunk on the left and right side of the house. We had to go back in and reinforce a lot of it.”

Poole went on to say his team focused on the framing and structure repair work on the house. Clark, the project manager, subleased the electrical and plumbing repair work to professional teams.

The Salisbury teams consisted of five adults and nine students. They had been involved in relief work since 1998. However, they were only a small part of a much bigger effort. Teams from Virginia, Florida and Pennsylvania were also involved.

Once completed, volunteers working free of charge will have accounted for 70 percent of the work.

Poole said that the house will need another 30 days of work before it is completely repaired.

Plymouth United Methodist Church and Alligood Church of God in Washington, where the Cahoons attend church, are underwriting the largest portion of the rebuilding cost. However, members of the larger community are invited to do so by sending tax-free contributions to Plymouth Methodist Church, PO Box 734, Plymouth, NC 27962, c/o Su Knowles-Treasurer.