Governor Holds Hurricane Recovery Meeting at ECC
Governor Pat McCrory was among state and federal officials who led a regional Hurricane Matthew Recovery Committee meeting November 18 on the Tarboro campus of Edgecombe Community College.
The meeting was one in a series of meetings being held across Eastern North Carolina in an effort to better understand the area’s needs in the aftermath of the hurricane and subsequent flooding.
Committee members, which include leaders from the Governor’s Office, North Carolina Emergency Management, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, sought public input during the opening session held in Keihin Auditorium and in subcommittee breakout sessions.
Dr. Deborah Lamm, president of Edgecombe Community College, opened the meeting and introduced Gov. McCrory.
“Edgecombe Community College is so ingrained in the fabric of this community that when an event impacts the county, it impacts the community college as well,” she said.
Hurricane Matthew hit on Saturday, October 8. Fall Break for students was the following Monday and Tuesday, so classes were already called off. Classes were canceled Wednesday through Friday.
Approximately 600 students, identified by address and zip code, live in the areas impacted by flooding. Of these, 258 did not return to campus when the college re-opened on Monday, October 17.
ECC established a Student Recovery Team to identify impacted students and to attempt to find those who did not return to class following the flood. Faculty and staff made numerous efforts to contact these students.
The college held a drive for food and supplies and created the Matthew Fund for accepting monetary gifts for students. To date, about 50 students have asked the college for help replacing their water-logged textbooks, restoring Internet access to continue their online and hybrid course work, and meeting their transportation needs to get to campus.
“With the community and the college’s support,” Dr. Lamm said, “students will have access to the resources and services they need in order to overcome the obstacles before them.
“Most likely, it will be months before the college knows the true impact of Hurricane Matthew.”