Pastor Willie Jordan lives in Pender County’s Whitestocking community, near the northeast Cape Fear River.

Like many families who have lived here for generations, Jordan was no stranger to storms and flooding. But when they evacuated ahead of Hurricane Florence in 2018, he could not have imagined what he come home to.

Flood waters devastated Whitestocking, forcing Jordan and his wife from their home. Though residents and volunteers worked together to remove debris and start re-construction, the pandemic forced those efforts to a crawl.

But the Jordans, like many others, found the pain of relocating greater than the task of rebuilding – no matter how long it might take. And two employees of the nonprofit Rebuilding Together of the Triangle stayed behind to finish what they started.

Videographer Julia Wall was with the Jordan family last fall when they were finally able to go home, four years after the storm.

YouTube video

“As a neighborhood, we’re still putting back the pieces together,” said Jordan. “This is home. We’re not going anywhere.

April 30-May 6 is Hurricane Preparedness Week in North Carolina. Find out more here.

Julia Wall is The Assembly‘s lead producer and videographer. She grew up in Wilmington, N.C. and earned a degree in photojournalism from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2013. She previously spent five years on staff at The News & Observer.