Local News

After the Flood, Rebuilding Divides Neighbors

Posted January 6, 2000

— Princeville's decision to repair its dike instead of buying out homeowners continues to create controversy there, while affordable housing in Rocky Mount becomes home to flood victims, pushing the moderate-income families for whom it was intended to the bottom of the list. Princeville:The town's board voted last month to repair the dike, and while the decision may be a done deal, the debate is far from over.

Princeville residents packed Thursday night's board meeting to express their disappointment and frustration. The board called its decision an exercise in democracy.

"When it came time for me to vote, I had to vote based on the residents. I had to take into consideration the majority of people who wanted to come home," said board member Linda Worsley.

With the decision made, residents must now turn their attention to rebuilding their homes. They will depend, in part, on FEMA money the board will be distributing.

The board also voted to distribute more than $300,000 in national donations to residents. Mayor Delia Perkins says with more than 2,000 residents, each family will only get a small amount. Rocky Mount:After living in a shelter, then with her sister, Flood victim Catherine Brown is finally getting her own apartment after living in a shelter and then with her sister. Brown will be the first to make first to make the Thorne Ridge Apartments home when she moves in next week.

The Thorne Ridge Apartments were designed before the flood for moderate-income families in Rocky Mount. But Floyd forced so many people from their homes that the Edgecombe Community Development Corporation is giving flood victims the first shot at most of these apartments.

The corporation says it has heard a few complaints from applicants who were not flooded. To those applicants, the developers are responding with their own question.

"The question that I post to the community, and to those who are interested in the apartments, is: should we prioritize those who have a home or those who do not have a home? And my best guess would be those who don't have a home," said project manager Marvilo Gay.

The corporation has 400 applications for the 32 apartments that are available.

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