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Three months after Matthew, some still live in condemned homes

Posted January 12

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— It's been more than three months since Hurricane Matthew, and some people are still living in condemned homes without electricity. Just off South John Street in Goldsboro, mounds of debris are gone from the curbs.

Many of the residents are gone, except for those who do what they need to make the houses home again.

Rudolph Jennings bought a generator right after Hurricane Matthew. Three months later, there's still a "condemned" notice on his house along Brock Street.

Most of his neighbors have the same notice and most have electricity.

His house is among nearly 200 homes in Goldsboro still without power and among more than 350 that remain temporarily condemned. He does have a sister in town he stays with at times, like last weekend, when temperatures dove into a deep freeze and a burst pipe caused one of his rooms to flood.

He has no idea when power will be restored; a contractor, he says, still has repairs to do.

The city's chief building inspector, Allen Anderson, said the city is not forcing any resident, through fines or other penalties, to leave a condemned home.

The notices, he says, are safety advisories. A "condemned" notice still hangs on Jennings's door

"It's going to be there for a year, so they're giving us a chance to regroup," he said.

Jennings spends up to $90 a week on generator fuel. He said many people are waiting for insurance payments and FEMA funds.

"I thank God every day. I thank God every day. I thank God. I thank God I'm alive because, you know, I could be dead and stuff," Jennings said.

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