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Plan To Reuse Flooded Homes Draws Fire In Kinston

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KINSTON, N.C. — A plan to refurbish, move and reuse flooded homes is drawing fire in Kinston. Some say it is an innovative way to use good materials, while others say it is a good way to ruin a neighborhood.

A few weeks ago, trucks brought three homes that were flooded during Hurricane Floyd to Charles Lawson's neighborhood.

"We have certified letters from RNs stating that there are spores, black mold, mildew and all that stuff that can stay dormant for a number of years and come back to haunt you later," homeowner Charles Lawson said. "It smelled like the lagoon had busted loose and come in my back yard."

The city of Kinston developed a plan to move and refurbish dozens of flooded homes. After FEMA buys up more property in the flood plain, a nonprofit group transports and repairs the vacant houses.

"The homes were not sustantially damaged in the flood, but they were part of what was considered the buyout program, so it enables us in our community to have some affordable housing," City Manager Ralph Clark said.

"The city allowed this type of structure to be put up in the neighborhood beside us with no certification, and I'm very disappointed," homeowner Eula Lawson said.

When the Kinston City Council figured out what was going on, it quickly put a stop to moving and refurbishing flooded homes. The city said even though the refurbished homes look new, the law requires that potential buyers be told that the house was flooded.


Brian Bowman, Reporter
Brian Bowman, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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