Pumps begin draining water from flooded town of Princeville

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More pumps will be set up to drain 1 million gallons per hour (WTVD)

National Guardsmen began pumping water Saturday from the flood ravaged town of Princeville into the Tar River.

Four pumps were set up to process 800,000 gallons of water per hour. Crews planned to bring in two more pumps to begin operating tomorrow morning that would allow them to pump one million gallons per hour.

Sen. Richard Burr toured the operation Saturday morning.

The Tar River gauge dropped 2-3 feet over the last 24 hours. Saturday morning it measured 33.6 feet.

Officials said it could still be another week before the water is low enough for Princeville's sewer system to start functioning again.

Charles Dew lives on the outskirts of Princeville. He was flooded out of his house during Hurricane Floyd.

He was forced to flee again Sunday.

"It makes you feel numb. You think why am I back in this place again? Why am I doing this again? But, you know, I've been living there for 46 years. It's home," he said.

More than 80 percent of the town is still underwater.

About 550 people in Edgecombe County are currently staying in shelters in Tarboro.

A donation management site has been set up at a warehouse at 3006 Anaconda Road across from the Emergency Operations Center which will be open every day from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. until further notice.

A temporary distribution site has been set up at the Chamber of Commerce at 509 Trade Street.

Among the list of most needed items: juice boxes, personal hygiene items, towels, washcloths and pillows.

To donate or volunteer, call the Edgecombe Co. EOC at (252) 824-0108
CLICK HERE to make a monetary donation.

"It's so heart wrenching. It tears every heart string you have out, but this community has pulled together, and we're one big family and we try to help everyone as much as we can," said volunteer Trina Webb.

FEMA will begin assigning temporary housing to displaced residents on Wednesday.

An office will be set up at River Crossing on Western Boulveard in Tarboro.

Flood victims are encouraged to begin the application process.

CLICK HERE or CALL: 1-800-621-3362

For residents like Dew who still do not know how badly their homes are damaged, a more permanent fix is still up in the air.

"You try not to think about it. Just wait for the water to go down so you can go back in and see what's going on," he said.

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