Local News

'There's no room:' Dozens still homeless after Matthew's devastation

Posted March 13, 2017 6:29 p.m. EDT
Updated March 16, 2017 11:25 a.m. EDT

— The town of Princeville is asking for help dealing with a housing crisis caused by Hurricane Matthew.

A Quality Inn in Tarboro is currently home for 46 families who were flooded out of their homes in October. More than 50 additional families are living in other hotels across Edgecombe County.

Paulette Johnson has been living in the Quality Inn since the flood. She said five months in a hotel has not been easy.

"There's no room, space or food. You spend money all the time on food," she said.

A group of students on spring break decided to ditch the beach, and travel to Princeville to help rebuild homes.

"We're rebuilding the deck, roof, flooring, dry walling," said Leslie Ayala, a sophomore at the Naval Academy. "It feels better than just spending your time on the beach."

Daisy Staton said she is very grateful and thankful for the help. Staton said she lost everything in Hurricane Floyd, and again in Hurricane Matthew. Despite the flooding, she did not want to move to higher ground.

"It's home. It's got a rich history. I like the people," she said.

About 75 percent of the homes in Princeville were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Matthew.

The town manager said the historic African-American town is not getting the help it needs from the federal government.

A FEMA spokesperson told WRAL that they are trying to help find flood victims permanent housing, but there are not a lot of options nearby.

"We've been looking, but nothing is available," the spokesperson said.