Many Hurricane Matthew victims don't have flood insurance
Oct 14 2016 by Johnny Bowman
Gov. Pat McCrory said the death toll in North Carolina from Hurricane Matthew has risen to 20. People or organizations that want to help ensure North Carolina recovers can visit NCdisasterrelief.org or text NCRecovers to 30306. The Tar River is now cresting, while others are starting to recede. Four of the six shelters in Robeson County now have permanent power. It was a cruel fate for an economically depressed town historically saddled with an unemployment rate nearly twice that of the state.
More than 30 deaths in the United States have been blamed on Matthew, with a fourth death announced in SC by that state's governor on Thursday.
McCrory said people hoping to travel through the area should avoid Interstate 95 because a portion of the road is flooded, and he suggested finding alternate routes. "Some of these people have nothing. They are sitting in high school gyms with their whole families".
"They've been dramatically reduced to 55,000 outages", McCrory said. The Town of Lumberton in Robeson County remains one of the hardest hit counties in the state. Also, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack in Afghanistan on a Shiite mosque in Kabul that killed at least 18 people.
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McCrory says the goal as of now is to get power back on in shelters and medicine to those who are missing prescriptions.
But he warned that recovery won't happen overnight once the water recedes. For some it will take weeks, months or even years, he said. Lumberton, New Jersey is responding to the crisis in North Carolina because the North Carolinians have come through for the South Jersey town time and again when the Rancocas Creek severely soaked Lumberton, N.J., especially when flood waters hit the town in 2004. There are still people hurting and we are doing all we can to help them. Entire towns remain underwater, and swollen rivers still haven't crested. But no one expected more than a foot of rain in less than 24 hours, on top of heavy rains the week before, said Jim Walters, deputy director of public works.
There is an ongoing evacuation for those in communities downstream of the Woodlake Dam in Moore County because of the threat that the dam will breach due to a hole in it. It and surrounding Robeson County had the highest violent crime rate in the state in 2014, the most recent year available, according to state data.
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The federal government has declared disasters in 31 of North Carolina's 100 counties, McCrory said.
There has been bits of good news. "That is incredibly positive news".
Matthew rolled up the nation's southeast coast last week, making landfall in SC early Saturday.
Matthew was not the first hurricane to dump extreme rain on the eastern half of North Carolina.
The full extent of the disaster in North Carolina was still unclear, but it appeared that thousands of homes were damaged.
Last weekend, seven emergency services staff were deployed to help with incident management in several of the counties affected. Lumberton residents went to bed knowing it would rain, and that there would be a little water in their back yards.
"Like the river, the Lumbees have a mystery, excitement and violence in their history; and like the river they persevere", he said.
But he has been heartened by the response of his community. The impact on the environment will be minimal because the hog waste will be "vastly diluted" by flood waters, he said. "But citizens have been fantastic. We are fortunate in a whole lot of ways".