A Long Path to Recovery

BEAUFORT COUNTY, NC (May 3, 2014) – For Duncan Blevins, the American Red Cross and other charitable organizations have been a Godsend.  On Friday, April 25, 2014, a devastating tornado ravaged his neighborhood, leaving destruction in its wake.

“I saw the tornado form and drop from the sky – it’s a horrible memory that I hope will someday go away,” said Blevins.

Red Cross volunteer Chase Jarvis hands a rake and clean up supplies to Duncan Blevins whose home was damaged in the tornado.

Red Cross volunteer Chase Jarvis hands a rake and clean up supplies to Duncan Blevins whose home was damaged in the tornado.

Blevins lived in a small home with his 17 year-old son.  Among the interesting discoveries pulled from beneath the rubble and massive debris in his yard were his son’s three bicycles.  Despite being located in three different areas behind his home prior to the tornado, they were melded and horribly warped into one another and buried beneath hundreds of pounds of destroyed trees.

“I thought for sure that those bikes were miles away (since we saw no sign of them following the storm),” said Blevins.  It was only after volunteers from local churches came and chopped up the trees did we find this jumbled mess (referring to the bikes).  I think I may keep them that way as an art exhibit or a bird bath.”

Duncan Blevins, a Beaufort County resident, tries to untangle his son's bicycles melded together by a massive tornado last week.

Duncan Blevins, a Beaufort County resident, tries to untangle his son’s bicycles melded together by a massive tornado last week.

Blevins has also found some comfort by speaking with Red Cross counselors.  “I have been having trouble sleeping ever since the storm, but by having someone I can talk to, it has really helped a great deal.  From neighbors, to church groups, to the Red Cross, the outpouring of support has been unbelievable.”

He also cautions other storm victims to protect themselves from identity theft.  “It’s hard to believe but there are criminals out there who prey on people in their worst times.  It can happen to anyone and do what you can to prevent it,” Blevins said.

“I think today is the first time that I can laugh about some of this,” Blevins said.  “At least I won’t need to buy firewood anytime soon!”

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