Local News

Goldsboro Residents Still Waiting To Hear From FEMA

Posted December 3, 1999

— It is going to be a long recovery from Hurricane Floyd. People in Goldsboro know that from their experiences after Hurricane Fran.

It was Hurricane Fran's flooding that dealt the fatal blow to the community in 1996. More than three years later, a contractor is tearing homes in the Neuse Heights section of Goldsboro.

Christine Smith and her neighbors took FEMA's buyout offer after Fran. Twenty-four houses have already been demolished.

Empty lots lined the streets with nothing but mailboxes to show that anyone lived in the neighborhood.

"It looks like being out in the country all by yourself, looking out and not seeing any neighbors," Smith said.

The neighborhood of 60 homes is nearly deserted now. The Smiths and two other families are the only ones left.

"It's aggravating in a sense, but there is nothing we can do," Smith said. "We are in the program, and we just have to wait."

Barry Lazaro's company started tearing down homes in Goldsboro in November. Once they finish levelling one neighborhood, they go straight to another.

"Just by looking at it, you say Wow," Lazaro said. "Next thing you know, we are tearing it down. Some of the houses were nice houses."

Families like the Smiths, who are in phase two of the buyout, are in limbo.

They do not know when their house will be demolished, and they are still waiting to hear how much FEMA will pay them for it.

"I don't know what we are up against moneywise," Smith said. "I can't put my hopes on a house because if I find something, there is nothing I can do about it."

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