FEMA still working to get Robeson County families out of hotels

Lumberton, NC - FEMA Photo

LUMBERTON, NC (WBTW) – As the weather gets colder, it can be easy to forget that many in Robeson County are still dealing with the effects of Hurricane Matthew. Now as the holidays approach with some still living in hotels, many are wondering what’s next as Robeson County recovers.

“We still have a huge number of people here living in hotels waiting for FEMA housing that is not here,” said Alan Taylor, Director of Missions for the Robeson Baptist Association.

The flood waters caused by Matthew have receded, but people who live in Robeson County still have a long way to go to recover from the damage.

“It’s just a very difficult thing to see,” Taylor lamented. “There’s a lot of emotion tied up in it.”

“Temporary housing is not going to go on forever,” explained Nate Custer, a spokesman with FEMA. “We are not in the business of just kicking people out of hotels.”

Hundreds still live in hotels along the I-95 corridor as FEMA works case-by-case to connect residents to help.

“We’re working with Housing and Urban Development, we’re working with various voluntary organizations, with the communities,” explained Custer.

Custer said the biggest need is making sure everyone who needs it is registered to get help.

 

“It’s very important that you register with FEMA, regardless if you have insurance,” Custer said. “Some people are under-insured, but it doesn’t cost anything to register.”

FEMA recently extended the deadline to register until January 9th.

Robeson County officials scheduled a meeting for later this week where residents can get access to help and get their questions answered.

 

The meeting is this Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Department of Social Services building on Glen Cowan Road in Lumberton. FEMA and SBA will be on hand to connect those who need it with help.

To register with FEMA: download FEMA’s mobile app or register online at DisasterAssistance.gov. Call FEMA’s Helpline at 800-621-3362 for voice, 711 ad Video Relay Service. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585.