Emotions run high for Princeville residents still recovering from Matthew

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TARBORO, N.C. (WNCT) – The path toward Hurricane Matthew recovery continues for people in the Edgecombe Co. town of Princeville. It’s been almost a year and a half since Matthew devastated so many here.

A meeting was held Monday at Princeville’s temporary town hall in Tarboro to define the town’s mitigation request program. The meeting brought impassioned pleas for help and frustration to the forefront “There are a lot of people who want to stay in Princeville. There a lot of people who want to live and die in Princeville,” said one resident in attendance.

The town commissioners were tasked with narrowing down their definition for mitigation. Something they delayed in order to redefine it.

Princeville Mayor Bobbie Jones argues citizens elected him with the understanding he wasn’t against the buyout option from FEMA. “But the citizens voted me in 70 percent of the vote,” Mayor Jones told the crowd.

More than 300 people are seeking relief aid. But the allotted budget can assist just over 100. “I understand all the emotions were not excluding ourselves because we’re citizens of Princeville as well and all of us were damaged by the flood,” said Princeville commissioner Linda Joyner.

Through the disagreements, there’s a common goal. Finding the best way for the most people to recover from the storm. The results of Monday night’s meeting will be sent to the state and ultimately the federal government for approval. That’s when the use of funds could finally be approved. A day so many in the town have been waiting for.

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