The Watch Dog response: For all of my Princeville friends, this thing is real and it ain’t just an issue in Princeville. The town of Princeville need to submit their plan and see what the NC General Assembly and all the resources involved will respond.
Almost nothing has changed in downtown Fair Bluff since Hurricane Matthew sent the Lumber River out of its banks and three feet deep into the businesses that lined Main Street last October.
A few of the century-old buildings have been emptied out, but dried river mud coats the warped floors and black mold laces the walls. Ruined paint cans and brushes sit on the shelves at Ellis Meares & Son True Value, and in a shop where former mayor Randy Britt once sold women’s Sunday dresses, the chrome racks stand empty. With power still out to most of downtown, even the clock on the post outside what used to be Elvington Pharmacy is frozen in time.
“I do worry about the future of Fair Bluff,” said Micheal Green, who had MikeMike’s Computers at 1122 Main St. before the flood and has been unable to reopen. “I worry about it a lot.”
State and local officials are worried about Fair Bluff too, along with other towns and business districts in Eastern North Carolina that were hit hard by flooding from Hurricane Matthew at perhaps the most vulnerable time in their civic lives. Much of rural Eastern North Carolina had suffered huge losses when manufacturing jobs left the state in the 1980s and ’90s. That was followed by the devastation of Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and, starting in 2007, the Great Recession. (Read more)