The Story: The Damage

And when this flood came, it struck those people primarily . . .because we have moved people around those creeks, primarily minorities and primarily low income, that's who took the brunt of this - the least stable, the least insured. So, it's been terrible. That's the best way I can describe it.

- Billy Ray Hall, president of the North Carolina Rural Center

Mobile home ruined by Hurricane Floyd

The flood ruined thousands of
dwellings, rendering many permanently
uninhabitable. Photograph by Rob Amberg.

After fleeing the intense floodwaters of Hurricane Floyd, the people of eastern North Carolina returned to their neighborhoods to assess the storm's impact, and thousands of them were met with a shocking sight. Homes and buildings had floated off their foundations and lay tilted at bizarre angles; cars had drifted into ditches; mold had crept up walls and ceilings; walls and floors were so saturated with water that they would have to be torn away and entirely rebuilt.

Interview with Johnnie Bratten,
Tick Bite, NC
- It Ruined Everything

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After several weeks, and in some cases months, North Carolinians whose homes had been destroyed began to move into trailers or rental housing, which was subsidized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a period of several months. This time period was extended when many storm victims could not find adequate and affordable housing. All in all, 63,000 houses were flooded and 7,300 of those homes were completely destroyed, leaving tens of thousands of families homeless.