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By Charlotte Smith

The Bladen County Board of Commissioners watched a video presented by Chairman Charles Ray Peterson on behalf of the Lumber River Council of Governments during their meeting Monday evening. Photos and videos shared from Bladen, Hoke, Robeson, Richmond, and Scotland counties were featured to document the destruction left behind after Hurricane Florence.

The video quoted Governor Roy Cooper’s statement given during Hurricane Florence, “I know North Carolinians have been through a tough time, and we will get through it. And tomorrow, when the skies clear and the winds die down, we can get back to the job of rebuilding and recovery in our state.”

Recovery and rebuilding is taking longer than some expected. The affects the storm had on Bladen and the surrounding counties are still being felt. Business owners have contributed down sells to the storm and some residents are still displaced.

“The Lumber River Council of Governments Workforce Development Board would like to thank the U.S. Department of Labor and the N.C. Department of Commerce Division of Workforce Solutions for funding that is making it possible for our region to recover. With this funding we have been able to serve over 778 participants,” was a statement of gratitude featured in the video.

Funding for Hurricane Matthew assisted 454 participants, and 61 received unsubsidized employment with a total expenditure of $7.7 million dollars, according to Lumber River Council of Governments Workforce Development Board.

Funding for Hurricane Florence damages to date assisted 324 participants and 17 received unsubsidized employment with a total expenditure of $3.2 million dollars so far, according to Lumber River Council of Governments Workforce Development Board.

“And I’ll rise up high like the waves. I’ll rise up in spite of the aches. “I’ll rise up and do it a thousand times again,” a statement from Andra Day’s song is a highlight during the film to remind those affected by the storm of hope.

Since Hurricane Florence the Bladen Disaster Recovery Team was formed in Bladen County to assist storm victims and better prepare for disasters that may hit our communities in the future. As government and community leaders work together to fund recovery efforts, BladenOnline.com will report on the continued progress.

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