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Flood Victims Can Expect Financial Relief from the State Soon

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GOLDSBORO — Damage from Hurricane Floyd is expected to top Hurricane Fran's record $6 billion in losses in 1996. Right now, 1,461 homes have been destroyed, and thousands of others are damaged due to Floyd.

The Red Cross and Salvation Army have teamed with the state to lead the recovery effort, but the cash stars pouring in next week.

The Hurricane Floyd Relief Fund already has well over $3 million in it, and donations are still coming in.

As far as when victims will see the money, the check is almost in the mail.

"The governor's intent is to put [the money] in the hands of people, not agencies," says Norris Tolson, who heads the state's Hurricane Relief Fund.

Flood victims are already getting checks fromFEMA, and very soon, they will also get checks from the state's relief fund.

"The governor would like to start seeing money go out this week," says Tolson. "I don't think we'll make it this week. But early next week we might be in a position to start distributing some funds or sometime next week."

Right now, a governor-appointed committee is figuring out exactly who can get the money, how much they will get, and how they will get it. The United Way will dispense the funds.

Flood victims are ready to rebuild their lives and are ready for financial help.

"We need money. We need this in black and white," says flood victim Anita Joseph. "Talk is no good no more. Don't keep talking, put it in black and white and issue it out to all these flood victims, and bring the check when you come."

The relief fund has drawn donations from at least 26 different states and several countries. Tolson promises the money will be spent only on Floyd's victims.

"This is not a fund we're going to let lay around and languish from one crisis to another. It'll be expended on people who have suffered in this storm," says Tolson.

Tolson emphasizes that regardless of how many donations they take in, it can never be enough. If you would like to donate, call1-888-835-9966.

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Lynda Loveland, Reporter
Doug Bricker, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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