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Mayor: Buyouts will have 'devastating effect' on Princeville

Posted 9:50 p.m. Thursday
Updated 10:12 p.m. Thursday

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— The floodwaters from Hurricane Matthew receded long ago, but residents in Princeville have hardly started repairing their lives.

Residents can drive down some streets in Princeville and never see another person. Doors and windows are open and, inside, homes are empty.

“It’s a ghost town,” said resident Katherine Bullock.

Bullock’s house sits just high enough so that, compared to neighbors, the flood damage to her home from Hurricane Matthew is minimal.

“Have faith and you can make it through anything,” she said.

Those with homes that did not make it through the storm made their way to a meeting Thursday night to find out their options going forward.

Tiffany Parker with North Carolina Emergency Management told homeowners that damaged homes can be elevated, reconstructed as they were or they can opt to have the home bought out by the government.

“The land has to remain open for the rest of the life of the land,” Parker explained of what happens after the buyout.

Town officials will decide how many of the options will be made available to residents. Mayor Bobbie Jones said they will listen to what the people of Princeville have to say, but he believes buyouts would deplete the town’s already small tax base.

“If we decide to allow individuals to participate in the buyout, it will have a devastating effect on the town of Princeville,” Jones said.

Whatever is decided, officials said it could take as long as a year and a half for things to get back to normal in the town.

Residents also want something done about the dike in town, as it is their defense against future floods. Princeville leaders want it extended and heightened and will meet with the Army Corp of Engineers next week.

6 Comments

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  • Steve Smith Dec 2, 12:35 p.m.
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    As if two floods have not already had a devastating effect.

  • Mare Procellis Dec 2, 11:27 a.m.
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    Just rebuild it. Since Global Warming is a Chinese Hoax I'm sure it will be a sound investment.

  • Mike Welsch Dec 2, 11:08 a.m.
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    As a tax payer I'm tired of having to keep rebuilding this town. Twice is enough in recent memory. How many have there been in its history?

  • Larry Wiandt Dec 2, 9:40 a.m.
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    Well what would you expect from a politician, all they care about is money and power.

  • Jeff Freuler Dec 2, 8:00 a.m.
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    It has flooded twice and I'm sure it will happen again. Stop sounding selfish and let them go. After Hurricane Floyd there were communities that were bought out and it's for the safety of the people

  • Jerry Powell Dec 2, 1:31 a.m.
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    “If we decide to allow individuals to participate in the buyout, it will have a devastating effect on the town of Princeville,” Jones said.
    I guess that is Mayor Jones' way of telling his constituents that he and the board know better what is best for them and has to protect them from themselves. I guess keeping the town running and his being Mayor is more important than the welfare and free will (ironic isn't it?) of the individual citizens. If the citizens aren't allowed to exercise their free will and accept the buyout, will the Town accept the responsibility for repairing the damages and pay for the other expenses if it happens again, or will they just be hoping for another open wallet from everyone elses taxes?