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Florence poses a new threat for rural, struggling towns

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PRINCEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — James Howell Jr. lost big two years ago when Hurricane Matthew swelled the Tar River, less than a half-mile from his home. Finally persuaded it was too dangerous to stay, he returned two days later to discover that 2 feet of standing water had turned his insulation moldy, forcing a rebuild of his living room.

Now a sofa and other furniture rest under tarps on his small front porch as he and his wife, Gloria, prepare for Hurricane Florence, which is shaping up to be much bigger and wetter, with a potential for rain that could be measured in feet.

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