Local News

More Rain Hampers Efforts in Tarboro

Posted September 27, 1999

— People in Edgecombe County are beginning to put their lives back together. It is a slow process, and more rain is not making it any easier.

Tuesday's downpour quickly filled some low-lying areas. Rain even forced the National Guard to call off the day's relief flights and use ground transportation to deliver food and water.

"There can be windows where the rain passes on and they can fly, then all of a sudden the rain rolls back on them, and they might have to set down on a bean field," says Maj. Mac Brown of the N.C. National Guard.

The weather is also forcing some children to stay indoors -- something they do not want to do after two weeks in a shelter.

Most Edgecombe County schools will resume on Monday. Princeville Montessori and Petillo Elementary will not open that soon. Both are filled with water and will not be cleaned and ready until spring.

Until those two schools are ready, teachers and students will meet in mobile units. Educators say setting up the classrooms will not be easy. And with many roads ruined, buses will have many obstacles in their way.

Still, school officials want to get students back together as soon as they can.

"To bring them back, put that order back into their lives, to let them have something to concentrate on, to keep them busy mentally, emotionally and physically, I think is extremely important," says Dr. George Thigpen, Wayne County school superintendent.

It may be two weeks before Princeville Montessori and Petillo students return to class.

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