Lumberton Hurricane Matthew victims set to check out of motels Saturday

LUMBERTON, NC (WBTW) – Earlier this month we told you FEMA issued two- 14 day extensions. The second extension deadline is this Saturday. This means many of those families are set to check out of motels this weekend.

Last week 460 people were still living in motels, this week that number is down to 425. News13 had the chance to talk with one of the families set to check out on Saturday.

Glennice Bell, her husband and three granddaughters are currently living in a hotel after their home was damaged by Hurricane Matthew.

“A motel is somewhere you are supposed to go for a vacation. It is not somewhere you are supposed to live for two to three months. But the hotel staff welcomed us like family, ” Bell explains.

More than 30 years ago Bell and her family hand build their home.

“It is heartbreaking because it doesn’t feel like home right now,” Bell said with tears in her eyes.

Strong winds from Hurricane Matthew ripped off their part of the roof and siding, leaving the floors and walls damaged by water.

“I need walls. I need flooring. I need a bathroom. I need a roof. I need siding. I need help from any honest people,” she adds.

The family of five has medical conditions that prevent them from living in the home while repairs are made.

“I have been treated twice for coming in here and staying to long. Because I just want to come home. I just want to clean it up. But there are somethings that you can’t wash away. There are some things that have to be torn out. And put back and that is what I need now.”

Bell’s three granddaughters have not opened their Christmas gifts because they want to open them at home.

“My girls were adopted by church families and family friends for Christmas. They want to open their presents at home because home is where the heart is,” Bell explains.

The Bell Family received some money from FEMA, they will use the money toward repairs for the roof repairs. The family is working with Robeson County DSS to find housing. They are set to check out of their hotel room Saturday. As of now, they do not have a place to stay.

 

Nathan Custer, Public Information Officer for the Robeson County FEMA Disaster Recovery Center says the center set to close Thursday. FEMA will continue to help residents of they call the FEMA Helpline:  800-621-3362.

The Robeson County spokesperson Emily Jones says the Disaster Relief Center will now be used by State reps and DSS case managers by appointment only. The Robeson County DSS asks for property owners or renters in Robeson County to register their property or take families in. To register your property  call (910)-671-3513.