Small African-American town tries to save fire department

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PRINCEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The town of Princeville’s fire department is trying to replace almost all of its equipment, which was damaged last month by Hurricane Matthew.

Fire Chief James Powell tells the Rocky Mount Telegram (http://bit.ly/2f78yV4 ) that the department “is in a desperate situation” because the storm destroyed three of its five engines.

Powell says the department paid $105,000 for the three vehicles in 2014.

The department didn’t have flood insurance. Powell says other fire departments from around the state have been helping. He has set up a website for donations.

Princeville suffered so much damage in 1999 from Hurricane Floyd that its leaders considered not rebuilding the town, which was established by freed slaves after the Civil War and incorporated in 1885.

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To donate: https://www.gofundme.com/princeville-volunteer-fire-dept-2um4ty4