Trying to navigate hurricane recovery process, Goldsboro resident can't return home

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John Street in Goldsboro used to be bustling with families. Now there’s a condemned house in almost every direction.

“It’s damage on top of damage now,” longtime Goldsboro resident Staris Morgan said.

For 33 years, her home here was her haven — the site of family gatherings and holiday parties.

For the past two years, it’s been her nightmare.

“Look, it’s just terrible,” she said. “It’s just terrible.”

Morgan’s home flooded during Hurricane Matthew in 2016. The gutted walls and floorboards were removed for water damage and mold.

Hurricane Florence flooding exceeded Matthew levels, she said, and made its mark on an already vulnerable home.

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“The ceiling didn’t look like that,” she said.

Florence’s menace, though, only adds insult to injury.

For the past two years, Morgan has lived in temporary housing, paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for 18 months.

She was expected to have rebuilt her home during that time.

“I had to prove that I had insurance before and after the hurricane,” she explained.


Carefully documenting every step and roadblock of the process for two years, Morgan said she’s reapplied for help on state and federal levels.

As she awaits answers, she’s paying rent and a mortgage.

“I’ve done everything that I was supposed to do, filled out everything that I was supposed to fill out, and I’m still homeless,” she said.

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