Local News

Some Families Move Into Temporary Homes

Posted September 20, 1999

— They were forced out of their homes with barely the clothes on their backs. Now, many people who have been staying in shelters since last week are getting a roof of their own.

Monday, President Clinton promised help to thousands of families in Tarboro who had been forced from their homes due to flooding. He promised to move them from shelters to temporary housing.

Tuesday, the first families started moving into those temporary homes.

FEMA gave flood victim Betty Pettaway some very good news Tuesday. Her family can move into a temporary home.

"I feel relieved. I really do. I've been sleeping on the floor, and the kids are tossing and turning. I haven't taken a bath or nothing," said Pettaway.

The Pettaways will move into a travel trailer on the outskirts of Rocky Mount. FEMA brought in 40 of them Tuesday. About 300 families will have temporary homes.

"The shelters are overflowing, and there are problems in the shelters. It's time to get the people out," said Bob Frettoloso of FEMA.

Eddie and Betty Hinton's Princeville home is still submerged. They will call a camper supplied by FEMA home until they can rebuild.

"I lost a lot, but I have not lost my faith in God. I know step by step we'll make it," says Eddie Hinton. "I knew God would make a way for us. He opens doors for us, he opened a door right there. I thank God for this door," says Hinton of his temporary housing.

However, resources are still scarce. One group of women do not know what the next move will be. They are staying with a relative and do not have any money or a change of clothes.

Tuesday, they went to the shelter looking for donations and found there was nothing to spare.

"You have to wait until the people living in the shelter get theirs, and then you will be the last one to get yours. I don't understand why they are going to turn you down when you are in the same boat as everyone else," said flood victim Linda Wilson.

The city's water supply has been tested, and city officials say it is contaminated. The flood waters are beginning to recede, but the city is still without a source of municipal water.

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