Published: 2010-11-11 19:42:00
Updated: 2010-11-11 20:00:51
Posted November 11, 2010
Windsor, N.C. — Flooding from a tropical system that also spawned severe storms and strong winds across Eastern North Carolina in the last week of September put the Bertie County seat of Windsor under water for days and damaged or destroyed more than 200 homes and businesses.
Six weeks later, the town is moving forward, in part, with the help of volunteers and federal aid.
“We’re pleased,” Town Administrator Allen Castello said. “It seems a little slow, but there is a lot of work being done.”
Bunn’s Bar-B-Q, a popular dining spot in the small town, was one of the hardest hit businesses.
It flooded after Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and again this year, when it was shut down for 24 days.
“It was kind of like Floyd all over again,” owner Randy Russell said. “We’re just trying to get back to normal, and business is pretty good. We’re just glad to be back open.”
Many homeowners are also moving from clean-up to rebuilding with help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which shelled out more than $3 million in aid to people in six counties.
“(FEMA agents) have done a good job,” Castello said. “They were here and have identified those in need and helped them where the federal law allows them to help,” Castello said.
Although individuals qualified for federal assistance, counties and towns did not meet the damage threshold.
“We are looking at a state declaration to try to get some assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures,” Castello said.
Flood insurance helped many home and business owners. Others, like Russell, relied heavily on volunteers.
“I’m just thankful for the volunteers that did help out, because if it wasn’t for them, it would be hard to get back, you know?” he said.
Town leaders say it will take years to fully recover from the flood. They say they are also looking into the possibility of raising or demolishing some homes and businesses, just as they did after Floyd.