Tarboro residents will fend for themselves in Irene recovery

Posted September 3, 2011

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— Many Hurricane Irene victims in central and eastern North Carolina are spending their Labor Day weekend cleaning up from the powerful storm that left many communities waterlogged and debris-littered one week ago.

In Tarboro, many residents say they're disappointed that Edgecombe County wasn't part of the federal disaster declaration for individuals. The county will get some help to recover, but people and businesses will have to fend for themselves.

Keith Webb said the damage around downtown Tarboro is substantial. He was standing on his porch last week when a huge tree came crashing down toward his 102-year-old home.

"I turned and ran like a bunny down the hallway to get away from the front door and (it) hit with a bang," he said.

Post-Irene clean-up continues in Tarboro Post-Irene clean-up continues in Tarboro

His insurance company gave him a preliminary estimate of $50,000 to repair his house – $7,000 just to remove the tree.

Down the street, 11-year-old Mackenzie Johnson vividly remembers being knocked to the floor by a toppled oak tree that smashed into her home.

"I was screaming and crying. It was just scary," she said.

Nearby, the Town Commons was also hit hard.

"It was probably six or seven trees on this block that fell over," said resident Michael Harris. "Just the cracking of the limbs was pretty scary."


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  • weasel2 Sep 6, 2011

    I'm sorry for their losses, but people need to take things into their own hands and not rely on the government for every setback. The economy has been hard on all of us but I still have my house insurance and trying to find some cheaper health insurance.

  • Bob3425 Sep 6, 2011

    I try to prepare for these situation ahead of time, cut down old trees, store food, my next project is a generator back up for the house. I think individuals and cities and state government need to be better prepared and not be so dependent on the Federal government.