Princeville Cuts Ribbon On Bright Future
Posted November 21, 2002 2:34 a.m. EST
PRINCEVILLE, N.C. — Three years after Hurricane Floyd left Princeville under water, the Edgecombe County town is starting a new chapter in its history.
Thursday, the ribbon was cut at the new town hall, marking a new beginning for Princeville -- the first town incorporated by freed slaves.
"The citizens wanted Princeville to be newer and more improved and that's what they got. This is something of a symbol of their rebirth, moving into the 21st century," said Bobby Hopkins, Princeville town manager.
Since Hurricane Floyd left the town under water, federal and state taxpayers pumped about $20 million into the town. With a population of just over 2,000, that averaged out to more than $9,000 of help per person.
Daisy Eppes has lived in Princeville all her life. She said the town is in better shape than ever before.
"The houses and everything are a lot better. People are enjoying themselves," Eppes said.
In the spring, the old town hall will be transformed into an African American history museum. The dike that broke and flooded the town has also been fixed.
Mayor Delia Perkins led the charge to rebuild instead of allowing flood victims to sell their home to the government. As Princeville comes back together, she is glad she made that decision.
"Our forefathers stayed and made the best of what they had, so there was no doubt in my mind we had to stay. I'm very happy the town is back to the point it is. We're pretty much back to where we were before the flood and hopefully the town is ready to move forward," Perkins said.
Church and volunteer groups have also contributed about $10 million in donations and labor. Since the dike has been repaired, Princeville is now in the 500-year flood plain.