Robeson County press conference updates community

LUMBERTON, S.C. (WBTW) – It’s been one week since Hurricane Matthew and some parts of Robeson County are still under water. While hundreds remain in shelters, Saturday County officials held a press conference to clear up rumors and let people know their plans moving forward.

Robeson County Officials say they have never experienced anything like the devastation Hurricane Matthew left behind.

Jerry Stephens, Robeson County chairman said, “We live here, this is our county. We love our county and we wanted to tell our own story. We wanted to get out our information that we know is valid and to be true.”

Over a thousand people in Robeson County are displaced from their homes and living in shelters.

There have been rumors that the American Red cross is taking over and shutting down shelters but County leaders says that is not the case.

Stephanie Chavis the Director of the Robeson County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) said the Red Cross is only at the shelters to make sure they are meeting state standards.

Chavis said, “”I’m not sure where the confusion came in but we just want everyone to know that Red Cross is only here to assist.”

The Red Cross, Social Services and the Health Department are all working together to make sure the shelters are operating properly.


Another concern was about aid and how people can use food stamps.

Sandra Cox, DSS Food and Nutrition Program Manager explained, “Right now we are taking replacement benefits for those places that are already receiving.”


The County Administrators said they hear your concerns and are working to move forward in this process.


Stephens adds the County is apologetic to those that feel they were left out but they are trying to react as best they can.

“We’re going to make some mistakes in this. Please understand that we all are going to make mistakes. But we’re going to learn from it. What we’ll do is learn from this experience then we will be better prepared next time,” Stephens said.