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17 Months Later, Fran Nightmare Ends for Cary Couple

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CARY — On that unforgettable night in September 1996, when Hurricane Fran left her indelible mark on the lives of North Carolinians, Greg and Carolyn Mintz moved a few things out of the kitchen and dining room before going to bed in their Cary house. Then, Fran slammed a huge tree onto their home, and it would take 17 months to clean up the mess.

Greg Mintz has a lot of unpacking to do. He and his wife haven't lived in their house for a year-and-a-half, thanks to Hurricane Fran.

Fran blew a hickory nut tree on the Mintzes' roof that took out half of the house. The repair work would cost more than the price of the house and lot when the couple bought it.

By December 1996, the repair work was well-underway. The first contractor didn't work out, though. The Mintzes say that the initial contractor did some sloppy work, and he did some of it without a permit. He even left some of his wood in their yard.

Nearly a year after Fran, Greg and Carolyn Mintz hired a new contractor. Carolyn says that they had to tear down half of their house again, because of some structural problems.

This time around, the Mintzes say that they got what they paid for, unlike their first rebuilding attempt.

Unfortunately, they have lost the money that they paid the original contractor.

The Mintzes considered legal action, but they were told the court costs would exceed the $13,000 that they paid the first contractor.

Now, they're just concentrating on getting their lives back to normal, and it appears that they're finally succeeding.

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Len Besthoff, Reporter
John Cox, Photographer
Brian Shrader, Web Editor

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