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Wayne County Moves to Higher Ground With Federal Help

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GOLDSBORO — Hurricane Fran forced several rivers, including the Neuse, out of their banks and into people's homes two years ago. Now, residents in low lying areas are getting help.

While the Triangle battled Fran's wind damage, people in Goldsboro and Wayne County spent weeks cleaning up damage from floodwaters. Priscilla Ford's home flooded for the first time since she moved in 30 years ago.

"It was polluted water," Ford said. "It was awful, it carried a real strong stench smell and it got up in the house about 12 inches."

Now Ford is planning to move out, along with at least 28 other homeowners who live too close to the Neuse River.

Federal and state tax dollars will be used to buy out, and tear down their flood prone homes. Other families will use federal money to elevate their homes. City leaders are glad to get federal help because the project will cost millions.

"From the city's standpoint we just could not pull $3.5 million out of our own budget to pay to have these houses removed, and the people transplanted to another non-flood prone area," Assistant City Manager Samuel Chambers said.

The damage inside one home was so extensive, the owners have not lived there since the flood. They have no plans of coming back. Soon, dozens of other houses on the street will be in the same situation. They will never be lived in again.

Once the homes are gone the land will return to its natural state where floodwaters cannot do any damage.

Homeowners say they plan to get a fair price for their homes. Development will not be allowed in that area once the houses are gone.

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Brian Bowman, Reporter
Brian Bowman, Photographer
Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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