Princeville residents hope levee will save town from flood waters

Posted October 11, 2016 7:11 p.m. EDT
Updated October 11, 2016 11:06 p.m. EDT

— A town that made headlines following Hurricane Floyd in 1999 is now hoping that history will not repeat itself.

Princeville, the oldest town in the country incorporated by African Americans, was under water after Floyd, but residents are hoping a new levee will help save the town from Matthew's flooding.

The Tar River was expected to crest in the area early Wednesday at about 35 and a half feet, but water was already flooding homes in Tarboro.

Bystanders, including Pastor Sherilon Gregory, watched anxiously Tuesday evening as the water continued to rise. His church, Princeville Gateway to Heaven, was rebuilt after Floyd.

"Just wondering how things are going to continue to go and right now, it looks pretty good," he said.

Across the Tar River things looked different.

The river swallowed neighborhoods along Bradley and Edmonston Avenues in East Tarboro.

Tameka Hyman and dozens of others cleared out of their homes as flooding invaded.

"They are not paying enough attention to the people in east Tarboro," she said. "I think it is going to be terrible."

Some people in Tarboro see unintended consequences for the Princeville levee.

"They protect the one and damage one, that's all I can say," said Allen Hanson, a Tarboro resident. "I mean, that's what I see, but like I said, I don't think this water would be here, but it has nowhere to go. The dam is holding it from the Princeville side, so it is over here."