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Cary family spends last Christmas at home

Posted December 25, 2009

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— This will be the last Christmas at home for Judy and Roy Howell. The new part of the Interstate 540/N.C. Highway 540 loop will run through their Wake County property, forcing them to move.

Completing the loop will connect communities in the southern half of the county, including Apex, Holly Springs, Garner and Clayton.

While the loop will be a convenience for others, the Howells are sad to be leaving their home. They spent Christmas day reminiscing about their time there.

“I love to decorate my tree, that is my favorite part,” Judy Howell said of Christmas.

“Forty-one years here. It’s the only place my kids know to call home,” Roy Howell said. “It’s going to be the last year at home.”

Every year, Christmas is spent at the Howell’s house with family and friends. However, that longstanding tradition comes to an end this year.

“It's not bitter sweet. It’s bitter, but I understand progress and I know it has got to go,” Roy Howell said.

Crews have already started clearing the way for the new I-540 toll road in the western part of the county. Dozens of homes and businesses are in the path, including the Howell’s house.

Roy Howell said he received an offer for his property in October, he countered and is waiting to hear back.

“We know it is coming, and it is coming fast and we know we probably have to be out by March or April,” Roy Howell said.

The Howell family plans on taking a lot of memories with them when the move.

“Good memories, good memories. A lot of good memories,” Judy Howell said.

Once families settle on an amount for their property, they typically have 90 days to move out.

The 12.5 mile toll portion of I-540 to Holly Springs is expected to be complete in three years.

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  • mgratk Dec 28, 2009

    Unfortunately for these people, this is a very rare instance of eminent domain as it was intended to be. At least they are not losing their land so that a developer can build a shopping mall or bigger houses, which is what eminent domain is often misused for these days. I'm sure that is of little consolation though, and I wish these people happiness in a new home.

  • valentine girl Dec 28, 2009

    It is sad to be required to lose your home to these circumstances. However, I hope they investigate to see what the cost would be to move the home they love so much. I'll bet there is property nearby where a lot could be purchased. With the settlement money, they may be better off with such a move. My mother had her home moved in Morehead City, and the only thing she had to secure in the home was to tape the cabinets!

  • gratefultoGOD Dec 28, 2009

    This lady looks like Kelsey Carson on WRAL. What a sad experience. I know GOD will help them find another great home..Merry CHRISTmas +t+

  • canes017 Dec 28, 2009

    I grew up driving by this and a few other houses on that stretch of road to see their decorations and still do to this day... its a shame to see them being forced out.