Redevelopment group creates plan to rebuild Lumberton area after Hurricane Matthew

The remains of the Lumberton home where Sally and Monroe Sinclair had to flee by boat after Hurricane Matthew

LUMBERTON, SC (WBTW) – Robeson County leaders are working with the NC Resilient Redevelopment Planning Program to study the areas most impacted by Hurricane Matthew and better rebuild communities, waterways, and schools in the county.

“We’re looking at anything we can improve on, taking advantage of this situation. In order to, like I say, make our county bigger and better than it was before,” said Robeson County EOC Director Stephanie Chavis.

A walk through the Pine Terrance neighborhood reveals the area is still struggling to recover months after the hurricane. Pine Terrace is one of the neighborhoods being studied for redevelopment. The fire station, along with nearly thirty homes in the community were destroyed by the flooding.

Fire Chief Todd Allen lives across the street from the station and says his home of 46 years as well as the homes of eight of his firefighters were decimated last October.

“It’s been pretty tough on me between the fire department and my house. But life goes on, I put everything behind me. When the [fire] bell goes off I’m going to help somebody else,” said Pine Trace Fire Chief Todd Allen.

Chavis says the redevelopment program will look at problems with clogged waterways that may have caused water to flood certain neighborhoods.

“At some point in time, the water had to find somewhere to go. And I think that posed a big problem for us. So, we’re looking at waterways, drainage, sewer,” Chavis said.

According to Chavis, the redevelopment group also plan to study damaged schools, roads and businesses. The goal is to have the study complete by May.

News13 reached  out to the NC Resilient Redevelopment Planning Program for comment, but they did not want to comment on the plans.