Rain Batters North Carolina

GOLDSBORO, N.C.--Six inches of rain fell yesterday across eastern North Carolina, flooding roads and threatening homes in an area scarcely beginning its recovery from the misery brought by Hurricane Floyd.

Swirling brown water again closed streets and highways, and rivers inched higher and threatened two dams. Authorities went door-to-door advising residents to prepare for possible evacuation.

"We're almost back to ground zero," National Guard Maj. Dave Culbreth said glumly in Goldsboro, where downtown streets were under water for the second time this month. "We were ready to pull out and then this came along."

Nearly two weeks ago, Hurricane Floyd dropped 20 inches of rain, turning large areas of eastern North Carolina into a soggy mess and killing at least 47 people. About 2,100 people remained in shelters.

Rain totals in Goldsboro totaled 6.5 inches from Sunday night to last night, when the rain was gradually diminishing in the eastern part of the state.

Forecasters said the Tar and Neuse Rivers, still several feet above flood stage in many cities, will rise another two feet or more as a result of the rain.

In some places, relief supplies were running low.

Meanwhile, a task force of funeral directors and experts in remains identification reported the recovery of 87 coffins that floated away from Edgecombe County cemeteries. An estimated 50 to 75 coffins have yet to be retrieved.

Columbine Story Revisited

LITTLETON, Colo.--Cassie Bernall, the young woman held up as a martyr after the Columbine High bloodbath, may not have been the student who said yes when asked by a gunman if she believed in God.

Val Schnurr, 18, said in yesterday's Denver Post that she uttered that response after a shotgun blast knocked her out from under a library table where she had been hiding during the attack in April.

Schnurr said that as she bled from her wounds, she pleaded, "Oh my God, oh my God, don't let me die." That, she said, was when one of the student shooters asked her if she believed in God and she said yes. Schnurr said she crawled away as the gunman reloaded. She suffered nearly three dozen wounds.

Bernall, 11 other students and a teacher were killed. The two teenage gunmen killed themselves.

Police said a student who helped authorities retrace the events in the library got sick when he realized it was Schnurr's table, not Bernall's, that he was pointing out in describing the exchange between gunman and victim.

The exchange turned Bernall into a martyr who had found God after falling in with the wrong crowd, dabbling in the occult and experimenting with drugs. Her mother, Misty, wrote a book--"She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall"--and she has been honored at youth rallies.

Schnurr said she has no idea whether Bernall was asked the same question in her final moments.