Robeson County braces for Florence just two years after Hurricane Matthew

Robeson County braces for Florence just two years after Hurricane Matthew
Robeson County department officials meet at the Emergency Management Center (Source: Robeson County)

ROBESON COUNTY, NC (WMBF) - Just two years after Hurricane Matthew swept through Robeson County, the area is preparing for another large storm.

The heads of every Robeson County department met Tuesday morning at the county's Emergency Management Center to discuss plans for Hurricane Florence that's on track to hit North Carolina later this week.

"We're just getting very prepared all around," the county's public information officer, Emily Jones, said.

Jones said having gone through Hurricane Matthew just two years ago, departments are more prepared than before.

"From water to our resources to our communication, everything," Jones said. "We're trying to get that in place, ready to go before the storm."

After a briefing from the National Weather Service on the potential impact of Hurricane Florence, each department went over their preliminary plans of emergency.

The county is planning to open two shelters at Purnell-Swett High School and Lumberton High School for people to evacuate to.

Jones said Tuesday they will release information about when they will open and a list of emergency contacts.

"If people uh feel like they need help with mental health issues because we did go through Hurricane Matthew and also who to call if they need assistance," Jones said.

Just like officials, residents are getting prepping for yet another large-scale Hurricane too.

Ricky Woodell lives in Lumberton. He said he was here went Hurricane Matthew hit in 2016 and remembers the impact.

"Last time the storm came through here, you know, this place here was flooded really bad so we're just trying to be prepared for mostly the worst," Woodell said.

While his home did not get flooded since he lived on a hill, Woodell said he remembers not having power for weeks.

"The main thing is just trying to get our generators right now, make sure our food and stuff don't go bad in our refrigerator and make sure we got plenty of clean water," Woodell said.

In addition to making sure you have an evacuation plan in place, including animals, Jones urges residents to download the Ready NC and Code Red apps for updates on emergencies going on in your area.

"We're planning very positively and very effectively, just making sure our resources are in place and making sure we have everything we need to keep out citizens safe," Jones said.

You can find more information and updates on Roberson County emergency plans on their Facebook and Twitter. Make sure to stay updated on Hurricane Florence with the WMBF News First Alert Weather App.

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