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Flames Mask Tears of Disappointment for Some Flood Victims

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PINETOPS — For some flood victims, fire is the only way to rid themselves of what Hurricane Floyd has already destroyed.

"It is not a good feeling when you think about all the things you've worked for all of these years," said Arthur Greene.

Families have been sorting through a lifetime and throwing out the past. For Greene and his wife Adelle, the family memories that have been burned into their minds will have to last them another lifetime.

"Clothes or whatever that wasn't any good. Some of it had mildew all over it, and some things just had spots all over them," said Greene.

In one night, 28 years of marriage and family mementos were swallowed up by flood waters except for one family portrait.

The Greenes and their neighbors are at their wit's end. They wanted more than just words from state and federal agencies at a community meeting Monday night. They got assurances.

"The assistance is not to put you back where you were in pre-disaster times. Our assistance is a hand up," said Gene Autry of FEMA.

As for a hand up, the Greenes say it would help. For them, a new beginning is their hope.

"The Lord blessed us with it. He blessed us with it the first time, and He will be able to do it again," said Greene.

Many of the people who left the meeting Monday night were frustrated. They are frustrated with the process, but there is no quick fix when it comes to disaster relief.

That is something many people do not want to hear, but that is what many of the federal and state agencies told them Monday night.


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