Hurricane Matthew continued to prey upon North Carolina on Thursday, as the death toll climbed to 22 and another town became submerged in as much as 10 feet of water.
“Princeville is basically underwater at this time,” Gov. Pat McCrory said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. He praised town officials and residents for getting everyone out safely.
“We’re going to have a lot of work to do in Princeville,” McCrory said, “a lot of work, a lot of recovery. We’re going to have to rebuild a town.”
Princeville, an Edgecombe County town with roughly 2,000 residents, is thought to be the oldest town in the nation incorporated by African-Americans. Hurricane Floyd also inundated the town 17 years ago. A dike failed then. This time, the water simply went over the top of the dike.
Though Hurricane Matthew came through the state Saturday, the heavy rains it brought continued to push down the Tar and Neuse rivers in Eastern North Carolina on Thursday. The Neuse is expected to crest in Kinston late Friday, while the Tar is expected to crest in Greenville on Friday morning, according to flood models. The rivers are expected to remain at abnormally high levels for days.