Lumberton families still in need two months after Matthew

Lumberton families still in need two months after Matthew

LUMBERTON, SC (WMBF) - Recovery after Matthew is nowhere near done, and families who live in Lumberton are still looking for help. Friday from 10a.m. to 2 p.m. there was an event held to give people some hope.

The Robeson County school district hosted the event "Caring and Sharing" for anyone who came to Robeson Community College to pick up clothes, food, water and school supplies. The parent coordinator for the school district said nearly 1,000 people attended.

Items were donated from all over the state. Anything left over was taken to First Baptist Church in Lumberton where people can still go to pick up what they need to help start over. Al Meszaros said donations are the only thing he can count on right now for his family.

"We got a lot of clothes - we got more clothes now than what we had, which is a blessing. You know, toys, and my little ones are talking about toys, but they don't understand the true thing that's going," said Al Meszaros.

Meszaros lived in the south side of Lumberton where homes are totally gutted with belongings now left scattered the street. Help has not gone away, but many families are still in need. FEMA is paying for people to stay at hotels until Jan. 6. Meszaros and his two little daughters have been living in the Motel 6.

"Not knowing what's going to happen from day to day," Meszaros said, recalling the night of the hurricane he spent with his two girls. "As the night was going through, I was awake watching the water rise. Before you know it, it was on my box spring where we were sleeping and getting up to the mattress - just trying to keep my daughters calm." He said the next morning he packed some clothes and left.

"People leaving their houses going to the school to get out because the houses are being swallowed up and walking around in stomach- to chest-deep water. We lost everything - everything - furniture, clothes, bed, toys," he said.

The Motel 6 had rooms two days after the hurricane, and his family has been here ever since. Meszaros said the worst part about it, he had only lived at the house for two months.

"They still have the trash out there all on the streets. I go over there and check the mail but I don't really try to go over there. It's a little depressing," he said.

Meszaros added he is just thankful to have a roof over his head. There are almost 600 people living in Robeson County hotels.

The county is holding long-term recovery meetings every Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Robeson County Emergency Operation Center. The meetings are open to the public and representatives from FEMA and the housing authority are there. The county said it is a big outreach to help people, as the recovery process could take the next three to five years.

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