Rescue teams in North Carolina were using helicopters to pluck people from their roofs, and boats to reach people down below. Emergency crews in Lumberton say they were trying to save some 1,500 people who were stranded by the flood. The FAA suspended flights in the area so choppers could go in more safely to rescue people, while officials stressed that people not try to drive their cars through flooded roads, where the depth can be deceiving. Deaths during the hurricane were attributed to drowning in cars and ditches.
Fall Break was already scheduled for Thursday and Friday, but the ongoing power outage and flooded roadways and parking lots meant the entire week of classes and activities was canceled, including online classes. The phone lines for campus police were restored by Monday. Chancellor Robin Cummings provided this update on Tuesday, October 11:
“In an effort to facilitate information sharing, we have created a website to house frequently asked questions pertaining to academic and student affairs questions. You can submit questions to email@example.com. All questions and answers will be posted at uncp.edu/askuncp.
Emergencies should be directed to Campus Police at 910.521.6235 or 911.
At this time, if anyone needs counseling services, please contact campus police and they will be able to connect you with a UNCP CAPS counselor.
This afternoon we have fewer than 80 students remaining on campus. We assure you all students will be taken care of and have access to food and water.
Again, if you are leaving campus, we urge you to be off the road by nightfall as conditions can quickly become dangerous in the dark. Adhere to any local curfews. The Lumber River continues to rise, which presents transportation challenges. Access to campus from I-95 is still limited at best. UNCP is still accessible from the west; please check NC DOT for road closures before leaving. Information is available at the following link: https://www.ncdot.gov/traffictravel/
Remember, ALL UNCP STUDENTS ARE BEING FED ON CAMPUS WITH OR WITHOUT MEAL PLANS. The dining hall will be open Wednesday 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
UNCP appreciates the outpouring of generosity from fellow universities and state institutions, including NC State University among many others. In addition, we have received offers of support on behalf of UNC President Margaret Spellings and Governor Pat McCrory.
While the safety and security of our students is our top priority, our thoughts and prayers remain with the people of southeastern North Carolina who have been impacted by Hurricane Matthew, particularly those in Lumberton, which has been especially hard hit. The university is engaged in ongoing communication with authorities to determine how we can continue to assist. Last night, the university prepared meals for National Guard and emergency operations personnel. And today I had the opportunity to interact with UNCP students volunteering at an emergency shelter at Purnell Swett High School.
True to UNC Pembroke’s core value of service, many of you have asked how you can help those in need. We encourage you to consider donating to the American Red Cross, UNCP Care Resource Center or directly to the Robeson County Emergency Operations. Detailed information about these giving opportunities was sent in a separate e-mail and will be posted on how you can help.
As for campus operations, at this time, we know utility crews are working to repair main hubs of power to Robeson County. We do not have a definitive estimate at this time on a timetable for restoration.
In addition, many of our faculty and staff continue to face hardships. We have heard many stories of our employees in heavily impacted areas of the region who are facing personal challenges associated with the loss of utilities, downed trees, and flooding at their homes. We want you to know we are fully in support of you and your families.
We will continue to update the campus community as additional information is available.
Robin Gary Cummings
A student from Lumberton High School allegedly pulled a gun on another student while at a bus stop. Parents told the Robesonian newspaper their kids saw the students involved. The two in the altercation had started fighting while on the bus. The driver stopped and the two got off, and one pointed a gun at the other. The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office Justice Division is investigating the incident. It is reported that the student with the gun is under the age of 16.