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Tarboro Flood Victims Attend Federal Buy-Back Meeting

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TARBORO — Floyd's flood waters turned many neighborhoods into empty shells. Some families are choosing not to move back. In Tarboro, the town is working on a solution so flood victims do not have to head far from home.

Residents came to Martin Middle School Thursday night to learn about a federal housing buy-back program for those who signed up to get rid of their flood-damaged homes. It was also a first step for starting over.

In Tarboro, many houses are no longer homes. They are trashed out former dwellings. Many residents are becoming real estate clients of the federal government by selling their flood-damaged homes at pre-flood market value.

Flood victim Ronald Clark attended the meeting, but is not sold on the idea.

"Because of the fact, the understanding that you won't be 100 percent reimbursed for your losses. Of course, I do appreciate that it's a good, healthy start," he says.

More than 500 homes were under water and just as many displaced families are looking for new homes away from the town's flood plain.

The town is counting on four development sites to retain as many residents as possible.

Town manager Sam Noble says the federal government is not the only option.

"Public finance agency funds, working with the banks, anything we can do to help these individuals we're going to do," says Noble.

Federal and state revenue sources depend on population growth. Tarboro town officials say more than 100 people have signed up for the buy-back and expect that number to grow as more people hear about the program.

Another meeting is scheduled next Thursday at 8 p.m. at Martin Middle School.


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