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Flood Victims Helping Spread the Word on Flood Relief; Deadline Extended to Feb. 29

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ROCKY MOUNT — Hurricane Floyd changed lives forever. The long, tedious process of rebuilding eastern North Carolina drags on. Despite the tough times, many flood victims are working to help others get the money they need to get back on their feet.

Eloise Chandler works the phones at Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, alerting flood victims to thelatest FEMA deadline, which has been extended to February 29.

"Because some do need further help, and some don't know that they can get this further help, it's very important that they know the deadline date," she says.

Chandler, a flood victim herself, would not be doing the work without help from the state.

TheEmployment Security Commissionpays Chandler and others to help the Rocky Mount church with flood relief efforts. About 19 flood victims work full time, helping people who still come for help every day.

"Volunteers, we can get them when it's comfortable for them, but these people we can count on them and have normal operating hours just like a business," says relief coordinator Rev. Glenn Silver.

The flood victims not only benefit from the work, but also the experience. Mamie Cooper hopes the computer skills she has picked up here will land her another job after the recovery effort.

"I've learned a lot about the computer and the different programs, and how to go about doing different things on it that I didn't know before," she says.

More than 20,000 flood victims have received help at the recovery center. Church leaders say that number would be much lower without the help of the people who lived through Floyd themselves.

On Thursday,FEMAextended its deadline to apply for federal and state relief. The deadline was February 17; it has been extended to February 29.

The extension is the fourth one for victims of Hurricane Floyd, which struck eastern North Carolina in September.

For more information, flood victims can call FEMA at(800) 462-9029.