With Tar River at major flood stage, evacuated Princeville residents worry about homes


TARBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — The normal roads drivers would take to get into Princeville are blocked due to the flooding.

The town is under a mandatory evacuation.

Some people are staying on the other side of the river in Tarboro with many of them unsure at this point what condition their homes are in.

With parts of Edgecombe County underwater, the shelter at Tarboro High School is filling up.

Lisa Ellis has been at the school since this weekend,  after being warned to evacuate.

“It was horrible. The sheriff said for us to leave because if we didn’t that they wouldn’t come save us,” Ellis said.

Getting back to her home to try to salvage what she can is impossible with roads washed out.

“It just gives you more of a headache on top of already you’re just so stressed. It’s really bad,” Ellis said.

Staff managing the shelter say more than 400 people have stayed here in the last few days.

Elaine Lynch lives across the river in Princeville and she has no idea what condition her home is in.

The usual access points to the town are blocked.

Lynch says she has no idea how much longer she’ll be here.

“I didn’t think it was going to be like this. Because if I thought it was going to be like this, I would have brought some clothes with me. I would have packed my bag,” Lynch said.

The Tar River was at major flood stage Wednesday — just above 36 feet.

For a community so greatly impacted by the flooding of Hurricane Floyd in 1999, the sight of rising water has been a source of rising stress.

“All of this, I don’t know where it’s coming from, but I keep coming back and it’s getting higher and higher and higher from where I’ve seen it before,” said Stephanie Byrd.

The water is due to recede in the coming days, but returning to normal here could take much longer.

“I’m thinking about my job, whether I’ve got job when I get back,” Lynch said.

The Tar River is expected to be at major flood stage through Saturday.

But, county officials are unsure how much longer the mandatory evacuation in Princeville will stay in effect.

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