South Lumberton Community hosts Think Tank to rebuild after Hurricane Matthew

LUMBERTON, NC (WBTW) – The South Lumberton community was hit hard by Hurricane Matthew, many people are still trying to rebuild their lives.

Patricia McKennon’s home has been in her family for more than 30 years. Now her home is deemed unfit for human habitation.

McKennon said, “I cannot live in this house. If I had too, I would come back and live in it anyway.”

McKennon has been living with family, friends and sometimes out of her car, as she waits for her Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) damage claims to process.

“My comfort zone is Robeson County. This is my home. It will always feel like my home—even if I don’t get to come back in it. This was home to me,” explained McKennon.

Just three people are living in her neighborhood just off of Martin Luther King Jr Drive. Her biggest questions are how will South Lumberton rebuild?

“I enjoy this community. I used to work in my garden… Now I have to find somewhere else to live,” McKennon adds.

She also wants information about how to cope with the trauma of losing her home.

“I’m not going to stop until I get what I need… and that’s my home,” she concludes.


Tomorrow the Hope organization, Helping Our People be Empowered will host a South Lumberton think tank at W.H. Knuckles Elementary School.

HOPE organizers will address:

Housing: information about renters vs. Homeowners

Infrastructure: rebuilding south Lumberton

Health: impacts of disasters on mental health—hazards of living in unfit conditions

The think tank will begin at 1pm.