WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Need-to-know details about the Matthew recovery in Robeson County


LUMBERTON, NC (WBTW) – As Robeson County continues the response and recovery from Hurricane Matthew, details about the community effort can be found here. As of Wednesday (10/19/16) morning:

Many of the following updates came from Robeson County Emergency Management on Facebook and the Hurricane Matthew Relief Updates – City of Lumberton facebook page, which is operated by volunteers.


All schools in the Public Schools of Robeson County will be closed through at least Friday, October, 21.

Robeson Community College will re-open for curriculum classes on Thursday, October 20 at 9:30 a.m. More details are posted on the school’s facebook page.

Updates may be posted on the Hurricane Matthew school closings & delays page.



Donations of food and supplies:

The donation drop zone is at the Southeastern Ag Center (farmers market) at 1027 US-74 in Lumberton. Supplies can be dropped off 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. (Check the Robeson County Emergency Management facebook page for updates.)

Lumberton High School is serving as a collection point for the following items:  nonperishable food (canned goods & dry foods), toiletries (wipes, paper towels, toilet papers), and cleaning supplies (disinfectant, bleach)

UNCP is accepting donations of nonperishable food items, toiletries, water and clothing at the CARE Resource Center located on campus in Wellons Hall, suite C. More details are available on the University’s Hurricane Matthew Relief & Recovery webpage.

From the Robeson County Emergency Management facebook page:

  • All clothes donations will go to 1401 Starlight Drive Lumberton, NC
  • All other donations will go to 2300 N. Cedar Street Lumberton, NC
  • FEMA is working on establishing disaster relief center

Donations of money

UNCP has established a Hurricane Matthew Relief Fund for students and employees.

The Lumbee Tribe has set up a PayPal fund for donations to go directly to the tribe.

The city of Lumberton has set up a GoFundMe account for donations to go immediately and directly to the city. On the fund page, a message from Mayor Bruce Davis reads as follows:

“Please know that all of your generous donations will be used for the recovery of our community, and specifically to assist the citizens that have been affected by the flooding of Hurricane Matthew.  All funds will be fairly and equitably put to use through a screening process monitored by City Council and myself.

We need as much help as we can get and may God bless you for your efforts and support.  Please pray for our City.”

Robeson County Emergency Management posted on Facebook, “If you would like to make an online donation to the Robeson County Hurricane Matthew Relief Fund. Please click on the link below.”


Coordinating volunteers is a major challenge for Robeson County leaders. People or organizations looking to volunteer should contact churches and other community organization directly. Also check Robeson County Emergency Management on Facebook and the volunteer page Hurricane Matthew Relief Updates – City of Lumberton.

Currently, the relief effort would benefit from volunteers willing to organize clothing donations. While many clothing needs have currently been met, those in shelters and those who lost all possessions in flooding may need clothing donations in the weeks ahead. There is a need for volunteers who can temporarily store clothing and organize a clothing give-away event for those in need at a later date. Interested volunteer coordinators should contact county Emergency Management leaders to coordinate logistics.

Anyone who donates at a donation site is encouraged to stay and help unload and sort donations if needed at that site.

Veterans Affairs mobile units

VA mobile units in Laurinburg will provide medical, mental health, counseling services and medications. Veterans must show VA identification to receive services.

The mobile medical unit and mobile VET Center is at the Walmart Supercenter parking lot at 901 US 401 in Laurinburg, NC. Services are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mobile Medical Units Can Provide:
-Primary Health Care Appointments/Walk-ups
-Physical Exams
-Flu Shots and Other Immunizations
-Assistance in Signing VP VA Benefits

Food and showers

Currently, the NC Baptists on Mission organization is offering food and showers at Hyde Park Baptist Church, located at 301 Roberts Ave. in Lumberton.

You may drive through or walk up. The schedule is as follows:

Lunch: 11 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Showers: 1 – 4:00 p.m.
Dinner: 4 – 6:00 p.m.

Picking up water, food & supplies

A water tanker is set up at Lumberton High School, 3901 Fayetteville Road, for residents to get drinkable water. Bring your own containers.

The public can receive supplies at the Southeastern Ag Center (farmers market) at 1027 US-74 in Lumberton from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Due to the number of community distribution sites, the food and supply distribution at Cakes & Pastries in Lumberton ended Saturday.

According to the city volunteer update facebook page, hot meals have been scheduled at Lumberton High School for breakfast, lunch and dinner through at least Wednesday (10/19/16).

Water & MRE distribution at fire stations

Water and meals-ready-to-eat will be available daily at Robeson County fire stations from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. (Check the Robeson County Emergency Management facebook page for updates.)

Fire station locations follow:

Allentown Fire Department
6815 NC 211 E.
Lumberton, NC 28358

Deep Branch Fire Department
3925 Deep Branch Rd
Lumberton, NC 28360

East Howellsville Fire Department
1000 Pridgen Rd
Lumberton, NC 28360

Evans Crossroads Fire Department
3440 Elrod Rd.
Maxton, NC 28364

Fairmont Rural Fire Department
203 Mullberry Str.
Fairmont, NC 28403

Lumber Bridge Fire Department
303 W. Main Str.
Lumber Bridge, NC 28357

Queheel Fire Department
108 E. Rockingham Rd.
Maxton, NC 28364

Northwoods Fire Department
344 Sherwood Rd.
Lumberton, NC 28360

Parkton Fire Department
2704 W. Parkton-Tobemary Rd.
Parkton, NC 28301

Pembroke Fire Department
1369 Prospect Rd.
Pembroke, NC 28372

Prospect Fire Department
4345 Prospect Rd
Maxton, NC

Raft Swamp Fire Department
2809 W. Hwy 72
Lumberton, NC 28359

Rennert Fire Department
9896 Rennert Rd.
Shannon, NC 28360

Saddletree Fire Department
76 Rozier Church Rd.
Lumberton, NC 28360

FEMA assistance

As of Thursday (10/13/16), North Carolina residents were able to apply for help directly through FEMA.  According to the FEMA website, individual aid can provide grants for temporary housing, rental assistance and home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs, such as repairing or replacing damaged or destroyed personal property, and medical and dental expenses.

Click here for information on how to apply for FEMA assistance in North Carolina.

Shelter Locations

Bill Sapp Rec. Center
1100 N. Cedar St.
Lumberton, NC 28358

St. Pauls High School
648 N. Old Stage Rd.
St. Pauls, NC 28384

South Robeson High School
3268 S. Robeson Rd.
Rowland, NC 28383

Purnell Swett High School
11344 Deep Branch Rd.
Maxton, NC 28364

Red Springs High School
509 N Vance St.

Red Springs, NC 28377

People at the shelter at the Southeastern Agricultural Center (farmers market) moved to the shelters at Saint Pauls High School (SPHS) and Red Springs High School (RSHS).


Lumberton’s water service is not fully operational right now because of flooding and subsequent damage to the city’s water plant.  People who live in the city could be without full water service for weeks.

City Councilman Burnis Wilkins posted on Facebook that some progress has been made in reducing water the city’s water plant. Therefore, people living in the city may notice some water coming out of their faucets. Wilkins said the system was pressurizing and asked people to only use the water for essentials. Until further notice, the water should be boiled if using for cooking or drinking.

On Friday afternoon, U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-Charlotte, who represents North Carolina’s 9th District including Robeson County, released the following details from FEMA:

  • Two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers experts have been assigned to assist and help Lumberton with repairs at the water plant . . . once water levels recede.
  • Two EPA experts have been assigned to help with chemical balance at the water plant . . . once water levels recede.
  • FEMA is now providing 10 trailers per day of water (144,000 liter bottles per day) for 5 days (720,000 liter bottles total) on the following schedule:
    • 10 trailers were scheduled to arrive yesterday
    • 10 trailers are scheduled to arrive today
    • 10 trailers per day on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday


On Monday, the U.S Department of Agriculture extended the deadline for Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) recipients in North Carolina to request replacement benefits. The deadline is now Oct. 28. People already receiving FNS benefits can apply if they experienced food losses that can be attributed to Hurricane Matthew.

The household must contact the county Department of Social Services to report the loss and qualify for replacement benefits. Anyone who cannot contact a county social services office may call the Electronic Benefits Call Center at 1-866-719-0141.

For more information, call 2-1-1 or go to the United Way’s N.C. 211 site at The 211 the service is free, confidential and available in any language.

DSS in Robeson County has staff who will be at each Disaster Shelter to assist with the replacement of benefits. The county’s DSS also has sites throughout the county for all others who are currently receiving FNS (food stamps) to go to report their loss to receive their replacements.

The sites will be the following locations (hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.):

  • Proctorville Community Building – 105 S Pine Street
  • St Pauls Community Building – 111 N 3rd St (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
  • Maxton Resource Center – 103 N Florence Street
  • Parkton Town Hall – 28 W David Parnett St.
  • Lumber Bridge Community Center – 100 Railroad St
  • Pembroke Tribal Center – 6984 NC Hwy 711 W
  • Rowland New Hope Church – 210 MLK St. South
  • Fairmont Heritage Center – Main St.
  • Red Springs Court House – Main Street
  • Lumberton First Baptist Church – 606 N Walnut St

Additional food assistance for citizens not participating in the Food and Nutrition Services program is in process as state agencies work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide data that will be used to identify qualifying counties in the state.

In the meantime, citizens may visit their county Department of Social Services to apply for regular Food and Nutrition Services. Contact information for local county offices is available at:


According to City Councilman Burnis Wilkins, the Robeson County courthouse will begin normal operations Wednesday October 19, 2016. In the meantime, time-sensitive documents that need to be filed in the Clerk’s office may be filed at the Magistrate’s office on Legend Rd. in Lumberton.

No courts will be operating on Monday or Tuesday. Pembroke court will be held as scheduled in Pembroke on Wednesday. Rowland court will be held as scheduled in Rowland on Friday. Domestic Violence court will be held in the St. Pauls courtroom on Friday.

Juvenile court will not operate until the juvenile court building (DSS) is operational and the building has been approved for use by the county. Domestic Violence Protective Orders will be heard at the Magistrate’s office on Legend Rd. in Lumberton at 2:00 beginning Wednesday.


Lumberton City Hall will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily until further notice.


Curfews in Robeson County and Lumberton have been lifted.


The water boiling advisory has removed immediately.