Local News

With Hurricane Season Approaching, Princeville Continues To Rebuild From Last Year's Effects

Posted May 10, 2000

— Hurricane season begins in just three weeks. There are a lot of places where people are still cleaning up from the last hurricane season. One town that took a hard hit last summer is trying to come back.

Once he can get his furniture delivered, Elijah Williams will finally move out of his trailer and back into his Princeville home.

"To get back in some room and space where you can move around, that's what I'm looking forward to," Williams says. "A nice hot shower and maybe sit in the tub."

Of the 900 houses in Princeville, more than 400 will be torn down, but there are signs of progress. The temporary town hall, which was set up in Tarboro after the storm, is now in Princeville.

"Well, the local government has come back and we're real close to our usual town hall," says town manager Sandra White.

A three-tier plan is in place to restore the town.

The proposals include a new town hall on Main Street, and work for the Black History Trail near the dike. One proposal even includes a Princeville industrial park on the south side of town which could easily double the amount of jobs Princeville had before the flood.

Federal workers are coordinating public and private donations to make it all happen. They know the window of opportunity will not stay open forever.

"There will be more hurricanes this year. There will be more disasters and there's no question that there will be another Princeville somewhere else that takes the national stage," says Brad Gair,FEMAspokesman. "We need to capitalize on our time right now."

Nearly $1 million has been sent so far. The improvements could take 15 times that amount.

Princeville has received about $900,000 in donations so far. The first installment provided a one-time payment of about $350 to each family. Every cent collected since then has paid for building supplies that will be given to residents.

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