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Oral History Interview with Raymond, Eunice, Wayne, and Charles Russell English, December 8, 1999. Interview K-0280. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Raymond and Eunice English are an elderly Duplin County couple who weathered Hurricane Floyd. They are joined by their son, Wayne, and their nephew, Charles. Wayne and Charles do most of the talking in this lengthy interview, describing their experiences with the flooding and their frustrations with unregulated pollution from hog houses as well as with inadequate and disorganized relief. Like many flood victims, they are trying to rebuild their homes and lives with very little monetary help from the state and federal governments and are relying on volunteer and religious organizations for help. The English family pays particular attention to the effects of the flood on their community. They believe the aging farming community is in decline and worry that the flood may have grievously damaged its self-sufficiency; yet, by the end of the interview seem quite proud of the pervasive ethic of responsibility and cooperation. Many excerpts include Raymond's discussion of the history of his community and/or his personal history. Researchers looking for local history should read the entire interview for some interesting recollections.
    Excerpts
  • The decline of Charles English's community
  • The community's fortunes wane with its tobacco crop
  • The flood and its aftermath damages community spirit
  • Raymond remembers the agricultural life of his childhood
  • Economic struggles and pollution in a struggling rural community
  • Hurricane Floyd's flooding is worse than a 1962 flood
  • Hog pollution
  • Quest for profits leads to environmental degradation
  • A childhood swimming hole is now too polluted to use
  • Remembering an effort to replace the dying textile industry
  • Community opposition to an effort to shore up the local economy
  • Trying to save their watershed from pollution
  • The flooding that followed Hurricane Floyd is the worst in memory
  • Dishonesty, fraud, and bureacracy interfere with aid efforts
  • FEMA's failures made residents look for help elsewhere
  • Waiting out the flooding
  • Charles is grateful to FEMA for his trailer
  • Eunice's failed efforts to preserve her belongings
  • The destruction of a local church
  • Outside help inspires the Englishes
  • Wayne feels neglected by his government
  • Frustration with an unfair relief system
  • Individual help vastly outweighed help from the government
  • Church groups give money for Christmas presents
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Resources for Educators
  • Hurricane Floyd Learning Object
  • Subjects
  • Duplin County (N.C.)
  • Hurricane Floyd, 1999
  • Floods--North Carolina
  • Disaster relief--North Carolina
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.