Local News

One Year Later, Flood Victims Still Await Financial Assistance

Posted September 14, 2000

— The flood waters forced thousands of people from their homes. Volunteers came from all over to help them rebuild. Though some people have moved back into their homes, many flood victims are still waiting for financial assistance.

Evelyn Lewis says the foundation of her home is sinking and unsafe. However, she says she is staying and waiting for the federal buyout.

"To me, it's takingFEMAa little bit too long," she says. "I don't understand why it's taking so long to get the money and stuff back."

Gavin Smith is with thestate's emergency management team. He says the process to get money from the federal government is long and complicated.

"The program was never designed to be a quick fix or a quick recovery program," he says. "That doesn't help appease or soothe the wounds of a disaster victim, but honestly, I can say that we have significantly improved our ability to get the money out quicker. It is relative though."

For some places outside of Goldsboro city limits, the buyout has begun. For others, many flood victims wait and hope.

One year after the flood, 84-year-old Melissa Richardson never thought she would still be living in a camper.

"It's not going to stay this way, just be patient and something will work out for you," Richardson says.

There are about 4,000 homes across the state which are eligible for the federal buyout. So far, offers have been made on just 350 of those homes.

Governor Hunt announced Friday the money has finally been approved for buyouts in Goldsboro, which means the area should be seeing some significant changes in the next few months.


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