North Carolina governor pledges aid to flooded historic town

Residents use their boats to get through flood waters from the North East Cape Fear River in the Riverbend Subdivision off Hwy 53 Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. Flood waters from Hurricane Matthew are starting to crest in Burgaw, N.C. along Hwy 53 but are still heading down river towards Wilmington. (Ken Blevins/The Star-News via AP)

TARBORO, N.C. (AP) — In North Carolina, where flooding along rivers has eased enough for some residents to start returning to their homes, the governor has pledged help rebuild one of the hard-hit historic towns.

Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday made an aerial tour of Princeville, one of the country’s oldest towns charted by African-Americans.

The town overrun by floodwaters created by Hurricane Matthew was also inundated in 1999 during Hurricane Floyd.

The governor said National Guard troops have been sent to Princeville with high-water vehicles to ensure no one loots stores or steals from vacant homes.

“I want to let them know we will be with you, and we’ll do everything we can to help you rebuild this city,” McCrory said. “And also, steps need to be taken where this won’t happen again in the future.”

McCrory said the flooding may be worse than what’s occurring to the south in Lumberton.

A team from the ASPCA works to bring a dog named Caroline to dry land after rescuing the animal from a nearby home surrounded by floodwater associated with Hurricane Matthew on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, in Lumberton, N.C.  The society said it has helped nearly 1,000 animals in the Carolinas and Georgia since Hurricane Matthew struck last weekend.   (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
A team from the ASPCA works to bring a dog named Caroline to dry land after rescuing the animal from a nearby home surrounded by floodwater associated with Hurricane Matthew on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, in Lumberton, N.C.  (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

The flooding triggered by heavy rain from Matthew — which killed more than 500 people in Haiti — has left at least 38 dead in the U.S.

McCrory said the number of statewide power outages continues to drop, down to about 44,000 from a peak of more than 800,000 Sunday. He reported the state’s death toll climbed to 22.

But McCrory said flooding continues to be a major problem in poor areas in the eastern part of the state.

“It’s a surreal experience to see this on a sunshiny day,” McCrory said.

Floyd roared ashore on Sept. 15, 1999, not long after another hurricane saturated the state. Two days later, the rising Tar River engulfed Princeville in water 20 feet deep near the town hall.

Princeville’s history as one of the country’s first towns created by freed slaves in 1865 helped boost a rebuilding effort. The Federal Emergency Management Agency gave $26 million to Princeville’s residents and another $1.5 million to the town.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s