Princeville trembles as Irene approaches

Posted August 26, 2011

— As Hurricane Irene trudged toward the North Carolina coast Friday, residents of Princeville watched and worried, recalling how another massive storm almost wiped their town off the map.

Rain from Hurricane Floyd in 1999 sent the nearby Tar River over its banks and left the Edgecombe County town underwater for 10 days.

"It was terrible. It was really bad, and I would not wish that on my worst enemy," resident Kiara Tillerey said Friday.

"I am very concerned. I stay right down the street myself, and I am scared, but right now I'm just trying to see to the town so it won't be flooded," said town worker Camillus Battle, who was clearing debris from storm drains in advance of Irene.

Princeville flooding during Floyd Irene brings uneasy reminders for Princeville residents

Most Princeville residents decided to rebuild after Floyd instead of taking a federal buyout and moving away. The Army Corps of Engineers has built a higher earthen dike to get the town out of the 100-year flood plain.

Still, the town's volunteer fire department was checking its gear Friday and planned to be on standby throughout the storm.

"The thing we are concerned about most is the flooding and the amount of rain we are going to receive," firefighter Richard Smith said.

One major advantage Princeville has as it faces Irene is that the Tar River level is much lower than it was before Floyd hit.

Henry Odeh, who lost his store to Floyd, said he hopes Princeville never sees flooding close to that again. If he does with Irene, he said, he won't stick around for another hurricane.

"Can't do anything about it. If it's coming, it's coming," Odeh said.


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  • caligirl89 Aug 26, 2011

    I personally know people who live in the town of Princeville and they are not looking for hand outs. They did stay and rebuilt without taking any handouts. I will say that people NOT from the area would drive though the town and just stop and look (and not once asked if there was anything that they could do). The town people started to believe that those people just wanted to see if people were leaving so that they could buy up all the land. For those not in know: Princeville was founded by former slaves....

  • jblake1932 Aug 26, 2011

    They just want free things. And the pres. just might avail!!

  • boneymaroney13 Aug 26, 2011

    I'm sure they will look for some kind of entitlement, as if it's my fault and I should pay for it. By the way, if you know the area floods, don't you think you should live somewhere else?!!!!!! Duhhhhh.

  • workingforthosethatwont Aug 26, 2011

    are they entitled to anything yet?