Princeville NC: A Wrenching Decision Where Black History and Floods Intertwine – The New York Times


Residents of Princeville, N.C., are considering the prospect of leaving their town after enduring a 100-year flood for the second time in 17 years.

PRINCEVILLE, N.C. — Betty Cobb’s house is a shell nearly two months after floodwaters went halfway up the walls of her one-story home.

Volunteers have ripped out moldy wallboard. Two small chandeliers hung over the bones of the living and dining rooms, the furniture and the carpeting long gone. On the kitchen counter lay a patchwork of family photographs, their vibrant colors washed away, and a book — “Hurricane Floyd and the Flood of the Century” — saved from the water.

Hurricane Floyd, which roared through here in 1999, was supposed to be just that: a once-in-a-lifetime event that caused flooding the likes of which this town’s residents would never see again.

But that perception was shattered in early October when Hurricane Matthew barreled inland and sent water pouring around a levee built along the Tar River and into the town, inundating hundreds of homes, including Ms. Cobb’s. (Read more)

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