Gov. Pat McCrory visits Lumberton to aid cleanup

NC Governor Pat McCrory visited Lumberton Thursday afternoon.
NC Governor Pat McCrory visited Lumberton Thursday afternoon.

LUMBERTON, NC (WBTW) – NC Governor Pat McCrory visited Lumberton Thursday afternoon. He took some time to view some of the harder-hit areas and also to thank leaders and first-responders.

“Lumberton is a town of much devastation,” McCrory said. “But it’s also a town of incredible resilience among some incredible citizens.”

Words of encouragement from a Governor dealing with a natural disaster in his own state.

The governor touched down at West Lumberton Elementary School just before 3 p.m. Thursday. He took a tour of the school, which has suffered so much flood damage that students will likely have to spend the rest of the year in another building.

Afterward, Gov. McCrory visited briefly with the media outside to detail the beginnings of a plan to rebuild schools like West Lumberton Elementary.

“The discussions we’re having is what is both the short term plan and the long term plan as to what to do,” McCrory said.

The governor then headed to the Lumberton water plant to check on the status of drinking water in the city — something that was unavailable for a few weeks after the storm.

“The people we need to recognize here in Lumberton are the people who basically saved the water system here,” said Gov. McCrory. “Who have not stopped working for 15 days.”

McCrory’s final stop was at Sandy Grove Baptist Church in Lumberton. While the inside of the church is suffering from water damage and mildew, the outside is being used as a staging area for various volunteer groups to gather supplies to help flood victims.

The governor toured the church before coming outside to address the media again. He was emotional as he described the stories he heard from the people of Lumberton.

“It’s just tragedy when you hear each individual story about a loss of life,” McCrory explained.

He did have good news to share as well. All rivers in the area are now out of flood stage. The number of people in shelters is down, and students will be returning to school on Monday.

For the governor, he said state, county, and local leaders still have a long way to go to help the people of Lumberton clean up in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

“People are trying to clean out their homes not just of mildew and bad furniture now but sand!”