HICKORY, N.C. -- Our story begins last summer, with this gully washer on July 27 in Hickory.

First Warn Meteorologist John Wendel s radar was lighting up that Saturday morning, but Holly Presley was seeing it first hand on her front porch, and in a minute, she would actually hear and feel it.

The thud Holly heard a minute or so later was the wall of her back room caving in, old boards were cracking, glass was shattering, and the roof began to drop.

Holly says, The wall hit the house and it just started caving it in.

All that hard rain had loosened the soil of the hill next to Holly s house and in one thunderous crash, the neighbor s yard had slid 10 feet and was now pushing in the side of Holly s house.

I was ordered to leave by the police department and was in a shelter for three days, she recalled.

Holly was confident it could and would be repaired because she has homeowners insurance, but then she got the bad news.

We can t cover that, that s flood and landslide Holly stated was the response from her insurance company.

The NBC Charlotte I-Team looked at the policy which did state exclusion for earth movement.

Holly s neighbor doesn t have insurance and the cost of fixing this house built in the 1940s wouldn t be cheap, in fact, one estimate was $22,000.

But just when things seemed to be at a muddy dead end, in stepped the Knights of Columbus and the Baptist Men s Association. With free volunteer labor, donated services, and aid from disaster relief, the cost of fixing Holly s house dropped to $1800.

Lenny Fisher is one of Holly s humble helpers and says, You do good and it all comes back to you, so it all works out.

In August it was stress, and there was nothing to smile about, but today, Holly is all smiles, admiring the durable handiwork done by the dependable handy-men.

A smiling Holly says, It is a very happy ending, the best Thanksgiving and Christmas you could ask for.

Yes, they fixed her house, but in doing so, they fixed her spirit, too.

Read or Share this story: