Princeville residents check out damaged homes after town was flooded

Brianna Flores at her damaged Princeville home on Tuesday. Photo by Michael Hyland/WNCN
Brianna Flores at her damaged Princeville home on Tuesday. Photo by Michael Hyland/WNCN

PRINCEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — With damage throughout homes in Princeville many residents have no idea when they can move back.

“Your foot can pretty much go right through the floor,” said Brianna Flores.  “Like when you take a wet towel and you leave it out for days, that’s kind of what it smells like.” :

A couple weeks ago Flores and 14 other relatives were staying at a shelter in Greenville.

They’ve since moved to hotels, but their homes are still a mess.

Notices are posted outside homes that suffered damage.

“The structure has been inspected and found to be damaged as described below, which is water penetration and electrical damage. So, I’m lucky I can turn my lights on without getting shocked,” Flores said.

It’s a similar story at many homes in Princeville.

Many families are still cleaning up. A lot of them still can’t get back inside their homes.

Later this week, though, kids who go to Princeville Elementary are going to be heading back to school for the first time since the storm.

It was a chance to try to feel some normalcy again.

About 80 percent of kids who go to Princeville Elementary still can’t move home.

“It’s been a disaster. A lot of waiting to go back. They’ve been practicing,” said Latisha Pittman.

“It’s been very scary. A lot of unknowns with our kids, not knowing where they were or how they were,” said teacher Hannah Rountree.

The school itself was flooded out.

So, teachers and staff have been working for days to convert the school district’s Family Resource Center in Tarboro into a school for the rest of the year.

New backpacks and supplies were here for the kids.

It was a bright moment amid some of the most difficult weeks this community has faced.

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