Hurricane Matthew made landfall on October 8, 2016, resulting in massive floods across eastern North Carolina. Princeville was one of the many towns devastated by the storm; flooding left 80% of the town underwater. Its location within the Tar River’s floodplain makes it particularly vulnerable to severe damage, and Matthew marked the seventh debilitating flood the town has experienced since 1919. Just a few months ago, town officials and residents braced themselves for yet another monster storm but were spared when Hurricane Florence veered south.
It’s been more than 2 years since Hurricane Matthew, but Princeville is still dealing with repercussions from the storm. Life in Princeville still has not returned to normal.
Princeville has gained national attention over the years because of recurring storm flooding, but it’s the town’s history that is most notable. Formerly enslaved people settled in Princeville after the Civil War in 1865, on land that white landowners deemed undesirable and were willing to sell. The town was incorporated in 1885, making Princeville the oldest incorporated Black town in the country.
[For more on this story by Virginia Fall, Andy Fox, & Lindsey Naylor, go to https://medium.com/changelab-s...-future-6fc97c0ad89e]