Local News

Bertie County Struggles With Job Losses, Hurricane Recovery

Posted September 23, 2003

— Thanks to Hurricane Isabel, it has been a devastating week for eastern North Carolina, but people in Bertie County are dealing with more than just storm damage.

Isabel sawed through thousands of trees and damaged 1,000 homes in Bertie County. Much of the county remained without power Monday night.

The county lost more than power and trees this week. It lost 366 jobs when Wrangler, Bertie County's second largest employer, closed its Windsor plant.

The county's director of economic development said Isabel's timing could not have been worse.

Steve Biggs has been recruiting companies to replace Wrangler for the last month. He said Isabel is making that tough.

"One of the companies was supposed to come Thursday. Obviously, they didn't want to fly in on Thursday," Biggs said.

After the storm, Bertie County has a lot of work ahead.

"With people working together, we can sell Bertie County better now. We can sell northeast North Carolina better," he said.

Better news is on the horizon. This past legislative session, state lawmakers voted to build a new prison in Bertie County. Construction begins next month, creating 415 new jobs. The prison is expected to take two years to build.

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