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oral histories of the American South
Environmental Transformations in North Carolina

For our pilot project, historians from the Southern Oral History Program selected 21 interviews that focus on environmental across the state of North Carolina. These oral history interviews are the stories by real people and participants in important recent events throughout the state. Individually, they offer an intimate description of the interviewee's experience; collectively they tell the s tory of a transformation of life in North Carolina.

In one set of interviews, lifelong residents of mountain communities share their concerns about, and hopes for, a new corridor of Interstate 26 that was then being constructed in their area. This section of highway, completed in 2003, stretches through Madison County, North Carolina to the Tennessee state line.

In another group of oral histories, residents and officials discuss plans for the Cane Creek reservoir. This controversial project spawned a divisive debate and pitted farmers against the Orange County Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) in a battle over land rights and the fate of rural farming. The debate wore on for over a decade before it officially ended with the reservoir's completion in 1989.

Finally, in an especially moving group of interviews, Hurricane Floyd victims in the eastern part of North Carolina share their stories of loss and survival after the flood that came in the storm's aftermath.

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