Fran Brought Families Together While Tearing Raleigh Apart

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RALEIGH, N.C. — When Hurricane Fran hit North Carolina 10 years ago, David and Wendy Rogers were trying to care for their newborn son, Hunter.

"I was holding the door shut, trying to keep the rain out, while my wife was trying to feed him," David Rogers said.

Hunter was 3 days old on Sept. 5, 1996, when Fran slammed into the coast and barreled up Interstate 40 to pound the Triangle.

  • Memories Of Fran: 10 Years Later

    The storm knocked out the power at the Rogers' house, so they went to stay with friends.

    "My parents' friends, actually, Keith and Sue Ann Allen, had electricity. They invited us into their home, God bless their souls," Wendy Rogers said. "It shows such kindness, and we were so grateful for that."

    "We were so fortunate to have the power that no one else hardly in the city had," Sue Ann Allen said.

    "We figured it would be just, say, one night. Well, it ended up five or six nights," Keith Allen said.

    The Rogers took over the house, including stocking the refrigerator with milk for the colicky baby.

    "He was probably as difficult as the hurricane was," David Rogers said.

    Wendy Rogers was a bit frazzled herself.

    "She was upset. The baby was crying; she was crying," Keith Allen said, but he added that the good memories of that week still outweigh the bad.

    "It was just a lot of fun, really, when you get right down to it," he said. "I look back over the experience and think, if I had it to do over again, I'd do it in a minute."

    Hunter, now a 10-year-old who loves hockey's Carolina Hurricanes more than the storms themselves, said the Allens still help him celebrate his birthday every year.

    "They comes to my birthdays and give us presents," Hunter said. "I'm glad they helped us."


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