Local News

President Tours Eastern N.C., Promises Help

Posted September 19, 1999

— President Bill Clinton was in North Carolina Monday. After touring the disaster area, he said that television does not do justice to all the flooding in our state. He has promised to help.

Hundreds of people welcomed Clinton with thunderous applause in downtown Tarboro. Despite the hardships they have endured, they persevered, and the President took notice. Listen to President Bill Clinton address the people of North Carolina Monday afternoon from flood-damaged Tarboro inRealAudio.

"I have been, as always, but particularly today, profoundly impressed by the spirit of the people here," said Clinton.

Clinton viewed the flooding in downtown Tarboro on foot and got an aerial tour of flooding across the state from a Marine Corps helicopter.

"The President was appalled all the way down here. We went on down to Greenville and looked over down there. The airport must have been as high as my head in water," said Gov. Jim Hunt.

Clinton also spent time at the Martin Middle School shelter where 500 people are currently living.

He shook hands, touched shoulders, listened to their stories and vowed to help.

"I want to encourage people to keep their spirits up. A lot of lives have been saved that could have been lost. It could be worse than it is even as tough as it is. We're going to stay with you and get you back on your feet," said Clinton.

Money is coming to the 66 counties affected by Hurricane Floyd. Starting Monday, food stamps will be allocated for the people that are in shelters and need help getting food.

The President also talked about loans to help farmers get back on their feet and loans to help people rebuild homes and businesses.

They will also use $12 million to help people get jobs. Those jobs will primarily be involved with cleaning up the damage, initially.

The people in Tarboro took a break Monday to listen to the President and to let him know, in large numbers, that they need help.

"Him coming today has got to give everybody a lift. It's been five days now, and it is just really sad," said flood victim Alison Boyette.

Cathy Worsley's house has so much water in it that she has not seen it since the storm, but she dropped what she was doing to stand and be counted.

"We just felt it was our duty as citizens of Tarboro to come down and show the President that we are really in need of a lot of things, and that the whole town is devastated," said Worsley.

Clinton drew a lot of cheers from the people listening in Tarboro.


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