Raleigh, N.C. –
Governor Pat McCrory provided updates on the state’s ongoing recovery and relief efforts in response to flooding brought by Hurricane Matthew.
“The effects of Hurricane Matthew continue to have a destructive impact 12 days later, but we are seeing incredible strength and courage from our citizens, and we are seeing recovery,” said Governor McCrory. “There are still many difficult days ahead, but our top priority will continue to be helping people in the hardest hit areas who are dealing with this flooding.”
The governor confirmed two additional deaths, a 53 year-old male in Cumberland County, and a 47-year old female in Wayne County, both whom succombed after their vehicles encountered flood waters. The total number of storm-related deaths now stands at 26.
The governor also announced that two healthy babies had been successfully delivered in a mobile hospital unit. He thanked members of Med 1 Mobile Hospital of Charlotte, which is currently located at Southeastern Medical Center in Lumberton, for their assistance in the deliveries.
Flood levels continue to drop in many areas, but it will be several days before some communities see water levels begin to return to normal. The Lumber River is receding throughout Robeson County, but is not expected to drop below major flood stage until Monday afternoon. The Neuse River at Goldsboro reached record levels this week and is not expected to drop below major flood stage until Sunday evening.
The Neuse River at Kinston also reached record high levels and is not expected to drop below major flood stage until late Wednesday. The Tar River is expected to drop below major flood stage at Tarboro this evening, but it is not expected to drop below major flood stage in Greenville until Tuesday morning.
The number of statewide power outages continues to drop, down to 13,366 from a peak of over 800,000 on Sunday. A majority of these, approximately 12,000, are located in Robeson County. The North Carolina National Guard continues to provide assistance, with 1,136 reservists activated. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety is providing assets, equipment and resources through the Emergency Management, Highway Patrol, the Adult Correction-Prisons, Probation and Parole and the Alcohol Law Enforcement divsions. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is also providing enforcement and rescue resources. There have been 2,333 water rescues to date, but there were no rescues reported overnight.
Over 660 roads remain closed through central and eastern North Carolina due to damage or flooding. The governor reminded drivers not to rely on GPS devices for road closure and detour information. Call 5-1-1, download the ReadyNC app, or visit ReadyNC.org for the latest road closure updates.
The governor said that officials are continuing to work with FEMA to develop temporary housing solutions to those who have been impacted. Since the state received its disaster declaration Monday, the federal government has dispersed nearly $9 million to disaster survivors through the Individual Assistance Program.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved North Carolina’s request for a hot meal waiver in all 100 counties, allowing Food and Nutrition Services recipients to purchase hot meals prepared for immediate consumption from authorized Electronic Benefits Transfer retailers.
The governor warned citizens to be on the lookout for fraudulent activity and scam operators and that the State Bureau of Investigation will pursue criminal charges. He also warned citizens to verify the license of any contractor prior to hiring and to only give money to credible relief efforts.