flooding

Hearing Stories Versus Knowing Stories

Beverly Johnson’s family bought land by the river in Trenton, NC early in the 20th century. Land ownership options then were limited for African Americans families. Inheriting land in a flood zone was not Johnson’s choice, but she does see many white families in Trenton these days choosing to buy waterfront property. Flood Zone is…

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Back Street: A Neighborhood in a Bowl

“I can only imagine what my parents had to go through for that land.” Gwendolyn Brown grew up in Back Street, a long-time African American community in Trenton, NC. When you enter the neighborhood, you pull off of ‘Backstreet Road’, go down a gravel hill, and enter what Brown calls ‘a bowl.’ She is familiar…

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White Control in Fund Distribution

Willie Johnson has been driving 30 minutes from his hometown in New Bern, NC to the more rural area of Trenton, NC for nine years. His congregation is there – in a church located within ‘the bowl’ of Back Street. Many of his parishioners have weathered all of North Carolina’s storms. And geographically, African American…

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White Control in Fund Distribution

Cheated Out of Their Homes

“I’m not against integration, but I think people are being cheated out of their homes.” Her mother’s home was condemned. Then her uncle’s. Ophelia Chambers’ family homestead has been in the same location off of Bridges Street in Morehead City, NC for at least 4 generations. In the wake of Hurricane Florence, her traditionally African…

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Birthday Party

Helen Barrett from Episode 3 shares a poem she wrote about sharing a birthday with Hurricane Florence. Two years since her house flooded with three feet of water, Barrett is still not in her home. Flood Zone is a special investigation reporting on flooding in Coastal Carolina communities. The podcast is a project of Shoresides…

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First, There Was the Fire

Helen Barrett drove school buses in New Bern, NC for 25 years. In early adulthood, she saw the fire of 1922 change the landscape of her city – pushing African Americans from downtown. Now she’s seeing the same zoning patterns in the wake of Hurricane Florence. Flood Zone is a special investigation reporting on flooding…

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Get Thee Behind Satan

Fanny Irving has lived in Trenton all of her life. She lives in the home that from 1971 – 1975 she built with her late husband. First Floyd, and now Florence, have taken that home from her. Flood Zone is a special investigation reporting on flooding in Coastal Carolina communities. The podcast is a special…

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Black Pockets

Eric Brown is from Back Street, a once thriving African American community named for being the opposite to downtown. Back Street has nearly been wiped out from repeated hurricane flooding. Brown built a second home to run from the water, but what will become of his family’s homestead? Flood Zone is a special investigation reporting…

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Recovering Together: Rebuilding after Hurricane Florence

Jonny Morales, 18, talks about what it was like returning to his hometown – Wilmington, North Carolina – after Hurricane Florence. And how he, his family, and his neighbors rebuilt the remains of their community together. Broadcast from the Working Narratives studio, Speak Your Piece brings you the opinions of your coastal neighbors on today’s…

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Florence’s washed-out road sent family down different paths

By Karissa Sowers All I could hear was the helicopter rotor whipping its long blades as we waited on the grass to be rescued. The helicopter was there to rescue neighbors who were stuck after Hurricane Florence flooded all the roads near my grandparent’s home. There were only three roads that could get you to their house….

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Florence’s washed-out road sent family down different paths