Braving Home: Anne Howell

Defying a Flood to Save a Hometown

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Anne Howell

Anne Howell Greg Halpern hide caption

itoggle caption Greg Halpern

Princeville, North Carolina, one of the oldest all-black communities in America, sits on the edge of the Tar River. When Hurricane Floyd struck in September 1999, the town's dike burst and Princeville's homes, churches, and schools vanished beneath the floodwaters.

The 'Braving Home' Series Web Site

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The damage to the historic town was extensive. "Everything was destroyed... it was just like Satan himself had gotten in there and made a stew," says lifetime Princeville resident and town commissioner Anne Howell. But Howell could not imagine living anywhere else, and when the government offered the citizens a buyout, Howell refused to abandon her home.

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In the first of a five-part series based on his book Braving Home, journalist Jake Halpern talks with Anne Howell about her determination to save Princeville.

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