Published: 2010-11-25 17:34:00
Updated: 2010-11-25 19:25:39
Posted November 25, 2010
Windsor, N.C. — Residents of Windsor say the help of their neighbors has made it possible to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, nearly two months after devastating floods that put the Bertie County town underwater for days.
Neighbors aren't just people who happen to live close to one another, according to 80-year-old widow Nancy Hoggard.
"They love each other, and they help each other," she said.
When the rains hit in late September and early October, about 4½ feet of water covered Windsor, forcing the evacuation of the downtown and a nursing home.
Eric Nussbaumer, who moved to Windsor from New York state about three years ago, said he was impressed how neighbors pulled together after the flood.
"I got to meet more neighbors than I know what to do with, and I love it," Nussbaumer said.
Hoggard was flooded out of her home and hasn't lived there since. She's lived across the street with her neighbor, Louise Leary.
"I am so thankful for the lady that took me in the day of the flood," Hoggard said. "She is the most wonderful lady in the whole world."
Leary had a fever of 103 degrees on the day of the flood, but didn't hesitate to invite Hoggard to stay as long as she needed.
"I said, 'Bring her on,'" Leary said.
Leary said she lives by the words in the Bible: "Give, and it will be given to you."
God "has blessed me better than I deserve, and I love him with all my heart," she said. "I try to help others. I hope they will help me when I'm in need."
This Thanksgiving, family gathered around a full table at Leary's house. She celebrated the birth of her new great-grandson, Eli.
Hoggard got dressed up to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family.
Her house is being repaired, and she expects to move in next week. "I'll be home for Christmas," she said.
Leary said she won't forget that family is more than those who share blood but is also those who share property lines – like herself and Hoggard.
"I love her, and we got along like sisters," Leary said.