Residents look for answers at final Matthew recovery meeting

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Carolyn Dawson began her plea to state leaders Friday with a passage from her faith:

“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hours to do it,” said Dawson.

She came to the final Hurricane Matthew Recovery Committee Meeting, which took place in Kinston, looking for answers on what to do with her house.

The place she once called home, where she prepared meals and her children played outside, is gone.

“FEMA has sent me some money for repairs, but there is no need in me wasting that money because it’s beyond repair on the inside,” Dawson said. “If they would buy me out, if they just bought the structure that would be enough along with what FEMA has given me to elevate and rebuild.”

FEMA coordinating officer Elizabeth Turner said if Dawson was to opt for a buyout from the city or county, rebuilding is not an option.

“Whoever purchases it then owns it and no, it cannot be rebuilt on,” Turner said. “It has to be left as what we call green space. It can be used for parks and things like that, but not rebuilding.”

But for Dawson, her home on Lincoln Street is where her heart is.

“I love this area because it’s (a) quiet area,” said Dawson. “I love nature and there’s enough for me to put…a little garden here.”

She said her faith will put her where she needs to be.

“There is power in my tongue as long as I use the word of God,” said Dawson. “I sew good seeds, and I’m going to reap good.”

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