Local News

Wake County Man On Roller Coaster Of Emotion Since Isabel

Posted December 12, 2003

— The

Federal Emergency Management Agency

has paid out $42 million to North Carolinians hit by Hurricane Isabel.

A Wake County man got the quick help he needed just in time for the holidays. But, a record-keeping problem may keep him from moving into a new home.

Bill Roy has been on an emotional roller coaster since Isabel destroyed his trailer in September.

"There was hope, then no hope, and now it's almost like there's no hope again," Roy said Friday.

First, Roy could not get federal assistance because Wake County was not eligible. When that changed, Roy bought a new mobile home. But the county has told Roy he cannot set up the new trailer where his old home used to sit.

"The payments on the new house start in January," Roy said. "We put the land up for the trailer, and we're kind of knee-deep into this thing and can't get out of it."

The problem is that Roy's 30-year-old septic system runs partially under a neighbor's property. Wake County can not find a permit saying the system is legal.

The neighbor, Wallace Keith, said he does not want the septic system there -- and never did in the first place.

"It would ruin that lot," Keith said, "and I want that for my little grandson."

Wake County did some tests and dug a hole on Roy's property and found the soil just is not suitable for his septic system. Roy has hired a soil and environment consultant to look for alternatives.

"We'll evaluate the soil on the lot from front to back and see what kind of systems, if any, can be put on the lot," said consultant Matt Burdette.

But there are no guarantees.

"We should be able to celebrate Christmas in a brand-new home," Roy said. "But we're four months down the road, and we're in no better shape than we were four months ago."

According to Wake County Environmental Services, Roy may be able to use the property of other neighbors for a new septic system. But, that is only if the homeowners agree to it.

So, the emotional roller coaster continues until Roy can find some way to flush out his problems.

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