The Story: Community

That's how it is down there. Everyone looks out for one another. And it's a very peaceful place, you know. It's quiet. Everybody gets along.

Renee Lee, Whitestocking, NC

Jim Connors, a hog farmer who also considers himself an environmentalist, stands by the barn where the flood took his hogs.

Jim Connors, a hog farmer who also considers himself
an environmentalist, stands by the barn where the flood
took his hogs. Photograph by Rob Amberg.

The Eastern region of North Carolina is an area undergoing extensive changes - once comprised of close-knit rural communities, it is now quickly growing to include expanding tourism, new residents from other areas of the United States, and industrial businesses attracted by the area's low tax rate and available work force. The area includes over 900,000 people, and overall population growth is increasing every year.

interview with Charles
English,>Duplin County, NC
- A Proud Community

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Although the number of small, family-owned farms has decreased in recent years, eastern North Carolina still plays an important role in the state's agriculture economy. Farms in the eastern part of the state grow much of the corn, cotton, soybeans, and wheat produced in the state. In addition to crops, livestock are an important part of the economy of the area. The leading four counties in the state for turkeys raised are in eastern North Carolina. Duplin County, one of the counties hardest hit by Floyd, is the number one producer of hogs, the number two producer of turkeys, and the number eight producer of chickens in North Carolina. Duplin County was also the top county for farm cash receipts in 2004 for livestock, dairy and poultry as well as crops, bringing in $76,548,200.

This once quiet community, known for its livestock and crop farming, would be struck by Hurricane Floyd on September 16, 1999. What changes would the hurricane bring to the community and its residents?