Local News

What's next? Princeville residents discuss next steps after Matthew

Posted November 18, 2016

— Edgecombe County residents and victims of Hurricane Matthew attended a meeting Friday in Tarboro to discuss what's next in the recovery process.

Many residents still have nowhere to go and no place to call home six weeks after the storm pummeled parts of the state.

"We are tired of running. We'd like to move farther from the river," said Daisy Staton, chair of the Princeville housing authority.

Historic Princeville was hit hard by the storm. Piles of debris still line the streets, shops remain closed and people are frustrated.

Staton asked for a buyout, but it is up to town leaders to decide to rebuild or offer buyouts.

Gov. Pat McCrory urged them to act fast.

"What we don’t want to do is begin something in which we may be repeating the mistakes of the past," he said. "Do you understand the point I'm making? The longer you wait, the more difficult it is to make the difficult decisions."

Jenny Hinnant lives in Conetoe. The floods also forced her from her home. Her plea for FEMA assistance was denied.

"Now I am paying for hotels out of my pocket. Tomorrow we have to be out of the hotel, so what do we do?," she said.

FEMA admits there are communication gaps, but said the victims should be relentless in their effort to get the help they need.

"You will recover, you will come back," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Elizabeth Turner. "It may look different, but walk with us through this process."

Hinnant said she just wants to be back home.

"I don't just want any money. I don't just want anything. If they give me a tent I'll put it in my backyard. I just want to be in my own house."

McCrory is expected to call a special session early next month to approve relief money.

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