Historic African-American town slowly reopens after Matthew

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The mayor of Princeville says the historic African-American town in eastern North Carolina is slowly reopening to residents after Hurricane Matthew.

Mayor Bobbie Jones said in a phone interview Saturday that about a quarter of the town’s 2,200 residents were allowed to return Friday to their homes in the Southern Terrace neighborhood. He says more residents may be allowed to return Monday with the town opening to everyone else as soon as Wednesday.

Princeville was founded by freed slaves and chartered in 1885. It was inundated in 1999 by Hurricane Floyd, which left up to 11 feet of water standing in the town for nine days. Jones says Hurricane Matthew’s floodwaters from the Tar River went around the 37-foot-high dike, rebuilt after Floyd.

National Guard troops have been pumping water from the town.