Two geese sit on the banks of the Tar River. The river is usually calm, but major storms in 1999 and 2016 have caused the river to rise drastically leading to devastating flooding in Princeville.
The town hall in Princeville was inundated with floodwaters from the Tar River following Hurricane Matthew. However, since the building was not more than 50 percent damaged, the town has received funds to repair it, not move it to another location that will be safe from future flooding.
Debbie Graham organizes clothing at the Quality Inn hotel in Tarboro where she and her husband Mike have been living since flooding from Hurricane Matthew destroyed their apartment in Princeville. Debbie often watches her grandchildren including Eligee Murphy, 8, center, and Jaziah Murphy, 4, right, while their parents are at work. Debbie and Mike's children and grandchildren have all been living at the hotel for months. Debbie says the grandkids now always want to sleep in her bed even as space is cramped and the family continues to wait for a FEMA trailer.
Ebony Murphy, left, does her 8-year-old niece Ariana Graham's hair in the hotel that the family has been living in since October when flooding from Hurricane Matthew forced them out of their homes in Princeville. Ebony and her brother, along with their parents and children, have all been living at the Quality Inn in Tarboro for months.
The dike around Princeville is supposed to act as a barrier to protect the town from the Tar River which often rises sharply during heavy rains. In October Hurricane Matthew caused the level of the river to rise to 36 feet, but the dike held the waters back. Destructive flooding occurred when floodwaters came into town through an area not covered by the dike.
Daisy Staton, who is on her own since her husband passed away, stands outside her Princeville home that was completely destroyed by Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and must now undergo extensive repairs following Hurricane Matthew. Staton said that she was initially interested in taking the buyout in which the government would have purchased her house and she could have moved to a safer location. However, she still owes money on a loan from 1999 when she had to rebuild her entire house, so she would not have received enough money from the buyout to be able to relocate. "It's been a struggle," Staton says as she now considers options for raising the duct work and furnace in her house to keep them safe from future flooding.
A sign offering legal advice for flood victims lies in the grass in Princeville.
Rarshed Cooper, center, and other workers hired through a Disaster Relief Employment Grant, clean out the Princeville fire station that had been used as a center to distribute supplies to victims of Hurricane Matthew.
Information sessions are held in Tarboro for any Princeville residents who are interested in selling their land to the government through a buyout program.
SYRIAN FAMILY SEPARATED FOR MONTHS
The Khadra family joins hundreds of others at Raleigh-Durham International Airport to protest President Trump's ban on refugees and immigrants from six predominantly Muslim countries. The family's 3-year-old daughter Muna is stuck in Jordan and has been denied an interview to re-enter the United States due to the ban.
Abdallh Khadra holds his phone as a video of his 3-year-old daughter Muna plays. Muna sends her parents videos from Jordan telling them how much she misses them and wants to be with them. Abdallh and his wife Hanan worry about their daughter's physical and psychological health as she continues to be denied entry into the United States.
Hanan Alhalabi cries as she listens to a video message sent by her 3-year-old daughter Muna Khadra who is currently stuck living in Jordan with her grandmother due to President Trump’s immigration ban. Hanan says every morning when she wakes up, she has a list of missed calls from her daughter who does not understand why she cannot rejoin her parents and two siblings in the North Carolina.
Syrian immigrant Abdallh Khadra, left, sifts through emails that he has exchanged with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services regarding his family’s travel to visit his mother and other relatives in Lebanon. His wife Hanan Alhalabi and their son Muhammad Uwais Khadra play in the background at their Raleigh home. The Khadras waited years to go visit family who had fled dangerous conditions in Syria, but their 3-year-old daughter Muna is now stuck in Jordan due to President Trump’s immigration ban.
Sana, 5, gets dressed for prayer at her family's home in Raleigh. She has been in the United States since September 2013 and speaks fluent English. Her family has applied for political asylum in the United States and they hope to stay in the country.
Hanan Alhalabi, Sana Khadra, 5, and Abdallh Khadra pray in their home as they do five times a day as dictated by their Muslim faith. The family does not see returning to Syria as an option but hopes that their 3-year-old daughter Muna will soon be allowed back into the United States despite President Trump's current immigration ban.
A note from one of the Khadra's neighbors sits on the couch of their Raleigh home. Abdallh Khadra says that despite kind words from some neighbors, he still worries about his wife's safety when she leaves the house wearing a hijab because it immediately identifies her as a Muslim.
Hanan Alhalabi prepares dinner for her family before she and her husband go to teach Quranic studies. The family has left their daughter Muna's high chair at the end of the table even though she has been stuck in Jordan awaiting paperwork to return to the U.S. for the past two months.