Photo: Clair Stampp regularly stops by his shed on East Young Street. Stampp lost his home and narrowly missed being killed in the April 2011 tornado that came through Rolesville. He lost his home, but is hopeful the town will change ordinances to help him and his wife, Jeannie, be able to move back, soon.
Family who lost home two years ago move closer to new one
by Clellie R. Allen
ROLESVILLE — When Jennie and Clair Stampp lost their home in the April 16, 2011 tornado that tore through Wake County, they were grateful that they also didn’t lose their lives and that of Jennie’s father.
Several of the towering pine trees that surrounded their modest single-wide mobile home on East Young Street came crashing down. The ceiling first trapped Jennie’s dad in his recliner, narrowly missing crushing him while Jennie, nearby, was dazed from a hit on the head by a falling branch.
Clair, who was in the hallway, had another massive limb crash through and hit him, pushing him down the hallway and out the back door.
Jennie managed to rouse her dad, who headed to the back of the trailer, becoming trapped again when another tree fell on the trailer. Clair ran down the street to the Rolesville Fire Department, startling the firefighters when he banged on the door, yelling for help.
Firefighters were able to cut Jennie’s dad free, but the trailer was a complete loss.
Worse still, they learned that because zoning ordinances had changed in the years since the trailer was first put in — in the 1970s — they would be unable to put another mobile home on that piece of land. The pair has kept and maintained a small shed on the property in the meantime.
Fast forward to Tuesday night’s Rolesville Planning Board meeting, and the Stampps have taken a giant step forward to being able to once again call the pine grove home.
Planning board members voted, without hesitation, and some with tears in their eyes, to recommend to the town commissioners to both amend the ordinances to create an Urban Mobile Home Watershed District as well as to rezone the one-acre tract to that newly created designation, which would allow the Stampps to move a trailer in.
In comments before the second vote, board member and Rolesville Assistant Fire Chief Donnie Lawrence spoke directly to the Stampps, telling them that their written statement accompanying the petition for rezoning made a special impact.
“I remember when you (Clair) came banging on the firehouse door that day,” Lawrence said, shaking his head.
The Stampps wrote, “We have lived there (on East Young Street) since January 9, 2003. We came to Rolesville looking for a place to live … we found a home! Now we have the opportunity to purchase a home for the spot we love so much. It’s our home!”
When the final vote to recommend the change to the town board was made, Jennie and Clair burst into tears as friends gave them hugs.
“We were just so lucky to be alive,” Jennie said afterward. “And to be able to move back there — I just can’t tell you what this means to us.”
Clair, who had to clear his throat several times before speaking agreed, “You don’t know what it’s like until it happens to you.”
New pet spa
The planning board also considered and approved to send to the town commissioners the petition of veterinarian Frank Batten to open a dog boarding, grooming and daycare facility at the former site of his veterinary clinic at the corner of Rogers Road and South Main Street.
Batten’s plans would require the town to alter the unified development ordinance concerning animal service facilities as well as to grant a special use permit.