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hurricane-matthew-regional-meetingLumberton, N.C. – Governor Pat McCrory’s Hurricane Matthew Recovery Committee had a chance to hear directly from those affected by the hurricane today at its first regional meeting in Robeson County. The committee heard comments from the public. Members also discussed steps to address relief fundraising efforts, community outreach, long-term plans for sustainable communities. It will develop recommendations to address needs that will not be met by existing federal relief programs at each regional meeting.

Among the items discussed was Governor McCrory’s request yesterday of $1 billion in federal assistance. Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry and representatives from FEMA also provided an update on emergency response and relief efforts. The committee, which is chaired by the governor’s Chief of Staff Thomas Stith, was also informed today that all of the shelters that were opened for Hurricane Matthew evacuees are now closed. The committee took comments from the public to gain an understanding of needs in Robeson County and the surrounding region.

“This is an important first step toward our state’s continued recovery efforts, especially in the Robeson County area,” said Governor McCrory. “These regional meetings will allow the committee to hear firsthand from those directly impacted by the storm and to help members prioritize long-term solutions for future natural disasters like Hurricane Matthew.”

Five regional meetings will be held in areas throughout North Carolina that suffered effects from Hurricane Matthew. The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, November 18 in Tarboro at Edgecombe County Community College. Other meetings are planned for Fayetteville (November 21), Greenville (November 30) and Kinston (December 2).

Governor McCrory announced the formation of the Committee in late October, and convened the first meeting in Raleigh on November 1.

The governor is encouraging individuals and groups to help in the relief efforts by making a financial or other contribution. Monetary contributions to the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund for Hurricane Matthew can be made by texting NCRECOVERS to 30306 or by visiting NCDisasterRelief.org. This is one of the best ways to help fund long-term recovery efforts.