Preparedness & Recovery

Governor Needs Helping Hands for Matthew Rebuild

Almost a year after Hurricane Matthew, people are still trying to recover and get back into their homes.

by Bob Shiles, The Robesonian, Lumberton, N.C. / October 3, 2017
Several abandoned vehicles sit in flood waters Oct. 10, 2016, in Goldsboro, N.C. AP/Casey Mozingo

(TNS) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper will be in Lumberton on Saturday to work hand-in-hand with volunteers to repair homes damaged last year when Hurricane Matthew blew through Robeson County on Oct. 8.

And he needs some help.

“Almost a year after Hurricane Matthew, people are still trying to recover and get back into their homes,” Stephanie Chavis, Robeson County’s Emergency Services director, told the county’s Board of Commissioners on Monday. “Gov. Roy Cooper encourages all North Carolinians to join together for a volunteer day of service.”

Saturday is being billed as “Rebuild NC Day of Service.” While the governor will be working in Lumberton, his cabinet secretaries will be joining volunteers in repairing damaged homes in Princeville, Kinston, Goldsboro and Fayetteville. The hope is that hundreds of volunteers will come out and help at these hardest-hit hurricane areas of the state.

“We are asking Robeson County residents to come out this Saturday, Oct. 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to help those communities who are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew,” Chavis told commissioners. “Volunteers in our county will be assisting the N.C. Baptist Men Disaster Relief group to continue with cleanup and rebuilding.”

Chavis said the majority of work will be in areas of construction, such as replacing Sheetrock, floors, doors and cabinets. There will be some roofing, plumbing, HVAC and electrical work available, said Chavis.

According to Chavis, volunteers should meet at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at 141 Avent Road, just off Starlite Drive in Lumberton. Volunteers should bring hand tools, such as hammers and battery-powered screwdrivers. They should also bring gloves, dust masks and safety glasses, Chavis said.

In other business, the commissioners heard an update on the Beaver Management Assistance Program from Bo Benton, a wildlife specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who told commissioners he has been busy as … well, you know.

“It has been a long year,” Benton told the commissioners. “Since the storm (Hurricane Matthew) we’ve been really busy. I’ve been all over the county.”


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