Princeville partners with design teams to limit flooding in the future

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PRINCEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Ten months after Hurricane Matthew, the town of Princeville is not only working to rebuild but also limit flooding in the future.

The flooding caused by Matthew marked the second time in less than 20 years a flood nearly wiped out the town.

“It kind of broke my heart,” said Princeville Commissioner Milton Bullock. “But at the same time I know this has been happening every so often and I was sort of used to it.”

Federal and state officials have partnered with design teams to come up with a plan to move the town forward.

Friday night marks the first night of a five-day community design workshop to develop three scenarios for a new 52-acre piece of land the stat intends to buy.

“The original town will remain. It’s a matter of expanding the town’s footprint and building a new development that’s less prone to flooding,” said Gavin Smith, director of the UNC Coastal Resilience Center and the leader of the Princeville design workshop. “This is a chance for us to hear what the citizens are concerned about, what their needs and aspirations are and how we can help them achieve those aims.”

The piece of land is outside the flood-zone and will include houses, businesses, infrastructure, public utilities and community open space.

“This is not a busload of folks coming up and telling us what we need,” said County Manager of Edgecombe County Eric Evans. “They’re coming in to ask the citizens of Princeville and Edgecombe County what they need.”

The meetings will be held from 6-8 p.m. Saturday to Monday at the Edgecombe County Administrative Building. The presentation of the final plan is scheduled for Tuesday night.

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