Princeville town leaders seek input on long-term hurricane relief

PRINCEVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – It’s been nine months since Hurricane Matthew and now some citizens in the east are taking steps toward relief into their own hands.

A meeting was held in Princeville Friday evening to gather input from the community.

Those who attended walked around the room at the Edgecombe County Administration building and placed notes on big maps where they could express ideas or concerns.

Linda Joyner is the Mayor pro-tem and says far too many people are still displaced from their homes.

Joyner said, “They’re still waiting for something to happen. They’re waiting for our citizens to come back home. They’re waiting to see new buildings be built so we will have affordable housing for our citizens.”

Residents in attendance Friday agreed.

“People are frustrated,” said former county commissioner Ann Howell. “They are overly frustrated by this whole situation about not having a recovery plan in place timely enough.”

Input ranged from infrastructure requests to a need for more state and federal funding.

Some however, found it hard to pin point a need.

Tommy Bolton owns business in Princeville. He said, “It’s kind of hard to say what we can do because I personally don’t think there’s really a whole lot we can do. It’s just evolving from building upstream it’s just growth from metropolitan areas.”

Delia Perkins is a former mayor of Princeville. Perkins said, “They do not understand how the process is working and they’re not getting any answers.”

Delia Perkins was the mayor of Princeville when Hurricane Floyd tore through the town in 1999.

She said the process toward relief is far different than it used to be.

Regardless of frustration, she said the towns at its best when it works as one.

Perkins said, “Because everybody is gathering here there’s a closeness that they need to get some closure to some things that have happened.”

On Saturday morning members of the community will meet to start the town’s beautification process.

They’ll be picking up debris throughout the town still left over from Hurricane Matthew.

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