Hurricane Matthew cleanup community forums to be held in Spring Lake, Lumberton

SPRING LAKE, N.C. (WNCN) – The cleanup after Hurricane Matthew continues and the people impacted need help of all kinds. They’ll be able to get some guidance today.


Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at town hall, the town will host a community forum – not just for people in Spring Lake, but surrounding communities as well.

Representatives from FEMA, the state and Cumberland County will be at the forum, along with other agencies, to help people and businesses answer questions about the assistance that’s available to them.


Gov. Pat McCrory is asking the state’s congressional delegation for help getting more than $1 billion from the federal government. It would pay for repairs and recovery.

Most of that – $810 million – would be a grant to build replacement and rental housing, improve wastewater systems and provide money to small businesses. Approximately 30,000 businesses were impacted by Hurricane Matthew.

Some of the remaining money would go toward improving dams and repairing farming infrastructure.

Spring Lake’s director of public works, Tom Cooney, said that the town issued notices on 23 homes that have to be dried out before anyone can live there again. Some of those homes had four or five feet of water.

He said that aside from the people living along the Little River, which experienced record flooding, the rest of Spring Lake had minimal damage.

“That’s the last thing we want is our residents to feel like there’s nobody there to help them when there are a lot of agencies,” Cooney said. “We hope that their questions will be answered and there will be some comfort in knowing that assistance is available. Not all of it is in the form of grants, but some very low-interest loans are available to help people rebuild.”

Also on Tuesday, people can get some questions answered in Robeson County.

The state’s new “Hurricane Matthew Recovery Committee” will hold its first regional meeting. It will take comments from the public and discuss steps to fundraise and talk long-term plans.

The meeting in Lumberton will happen from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Robeson County Community College.

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