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Governor Begins Floyd Assessment Tour

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GREENVILLE — It has been almost a year, but many victims of Hurricane Floyd in eastern North Carolina still need help getting back on their feet. This week, Gov. Jim Hunt is taking his entire cabinet out east, to assess what has been done and what needs to be done.

Hunt and his cabinet are on a whirlwind tour of the most affected parts of the state. They are hearing from local elected leaders and others about what is still needed in these places.

Millions have been spent in aid; more money is on the way.

"I am going around the state, asking people, rank and file people, 'Where do you stand? What's happened in your life? What more can we do?' I will not rest," Hunt said, "until we have everybody back in their home."

"I think that realistically we are probably as far as we had reason to expect to be. But I understand for people not back in their home, every day is a day too long," said Leza Aycock, North Carolina Redevelopment Director. "And I keep that constantly in my mind. We have to move harder, faster, stronger."

"I am encouraged," Hunt said. "A lot of people have worked so hard to help people over the course of the past year. About 60,000 people have applied for aid and gotten some kind of help, thousands of homeowners have gotten help, farmers -- about $75 million, fishermen, help to small business people to repair environmental damage. But there is still work left to be done. I am traveling the whole state this week finding out what is left to be done, where are we, what do we need to do ahead, pushing people to do everything we can and we will not rest until we have everybody back in a home and help our people get back on their feet."

Two hundred people remain in FEMA trailers, and the deadline for them to leave is in March. Hunt said Monday morning that those people need not worry.

"I know the federal government has a rule you can't stay in a trailer longer than 18 months. I will personally guarantee everybody that nobody is going to be pushed out of their trailer if they still need to be in it," the governor said. "We will find other places. We are trying to build permanent homes, that's what we want people in. We are going to make sure people stay in a good place and we are going to keep working to have them a kind of good home like they used to have, and maybe even better."

Hunt's next stop is a Tarboro day care center.

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Brian Bowman, Reporter
Kay Miller, Web Editor

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