Windsor finally qualifies for state assistance after floods

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The town of Windsor, which took a one-two punch last summer from Tropical Storm Julia and Hurricane Matthew, can now get financial assistance from the state to pay for cleaning up the first storm.

Gov. Roy Cooper issued a state disaster declaration Wednesday for Windsor, which means 75 percent of the $89,000 spent to recover from the tropical storm will be paid for by state government.

The Bertie County seat saw major flooding when over a foot of rain fell from Julia last September. Town leaders were counting up damages when Matthew arrived in early October, making it difficult to identify damages associated with each storm. Costs were finalized earlier this month that exceeded necessary thresholds.

State and federal disaster declarations for Hurricane Matthew occurred immediately in eastern North Carolina.

Former Windsor Mayor Bob Spivey said he has seen his fair share of flooding and with each flood it has been difficult to pick up the pieces.

“We’ve built this house three times, and we decided not to rebuild it again after Matthew,” said Spivey.

Despite the obstacles, some still want to remain in the town.

“I’m an old man,” said resident Milton Tadlock. “If I was 35 years old, I would probably not stay here, but I can’t go into debt or spend my retirement to fix my house.”

Several business owners said they want the money to go to revitalizing the town to keep more people in, and they are not sure how the money  will be spent.

“Most of the businesses though are out of business,”said Tadlock. “It’s just been a downer for everything in this town. We’ve lost just about everything good that we had.”