Funds needed for hurricane prep
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
The Fayetteville Observer
Lumberton got some desperately needed help last week, delivered by Gov. Roy Cooper. The city will get $1.1 million in grants to help prevent repeats of the severe damage the city suffered in Hurricanes Matthew and Florence.
The biggest portion of the grants will help build a four-foot berm around the Rempac foam factory in southwest Lumberton, which employs about 200 people. The plant was flooded by both hurricanes, which seriously disrupted manufacturing operations. The repeated flooding had company officials considering a move out of town — a job loss that the city could ill afford.
Another grant will help the city tear down a former Ramada Inn and a restaurant that had also been flooded in both hurricanes. The governor’s office says other grants for the city are under consideration.
That’s good, because the economically challenged city needs all the help it can get. It’s clear, as the governor has stated repeatedly, that we’ve moved into a “new normal” where flooding events arrive more frequently to batter this state’s low-lying communities. Lumberton, Fayetteville and many other cities and towns have been affected and are still struggling to fully recover.
Municipalities throughout this region need help to stormproof themselves, improve their stormwater management systems, tear down some structures and elevate others. It will take decades to do all the work that’s needed. The money Lumberton got this week is a good step.