RALEIGH — Farmers affected by Hurricane Florence have until Dec. 10 to sign up for the Hurricane Florence Agricultural Disaster Program of 2018. The program will directly assist farmers who suffered losses to commodities planted but not harvested before Sept. 13 and livestock. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will administer the program, and assistance will be dependent upon funding from the N.C. General Assembly.  

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ROCKINGHAM — Although temperatures have been a little cooler the past few days, Hurricane season doesn’t end until the end of the month and forecasters say there could be another storm in the Atlantic later this week.

The National Hurricane Center reported Monday that a tropical wave about 200 miles from the Leeward Islands is producing an area of disturbed weather in the ocean.

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RALEIGH — State Sen. Tom McInnis was one of 16 members of the General Assembly recently appointed to a committee to “study options for flood mitigation involving river debris removal (and) spillways.”

The appointment was announced last week in a joint statement by Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, and House Speaker Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland.

According to a press release, the committee includes eight members each from the Senate and House of Representatives who will study “the means of mitigating flood damage caused by extreme rainfall events.”

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HAMLET— Richmond County students will miss yet another day due a hurricane.

The school district announced on its Facebook page Wednesday afternoon that there would be no classes or athletics on Thursday, when Hurricane Michael — currently expected to be a tropical storm by then — makes its way through the Carolinas.

While a message will be sent out at 5 p.m. Thursday regarding classes on Friday, Homecoming activities are still on track.

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ROCKINGHAM — One event has already been cancelled due to heavy wind and rains expected on Thursday.

The Rockingham Downtown Corporation made the decision to cancel its semiannual event, Affair on the Square, late Tuesday night. There will be no make-up date.

Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, along the western edge of the panhandle, around 1:30 Wednesday afternoon after strengthening overnight to a Category 4 storm. Maximum sustained winds were 155 mph— just 2 mph shy of a Category 5 —  according to the National Hurricane Center.

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ROCKINGHAM — Gov. Roy Cooper visited Richmond County early Monday afternoon to thank first responders for their efforts during Hurricane Florence as he continues to tour affected areas.

The governor was greeted by Emergency Services Director Donna Wright and County Manager Bryan Land as he walked into the county Emergency Services Complex.

Wright gave him a very brief history of how the building came about as she led him to a conference room where photos of the county’s roads damaged during the storm were projected onto a screen. 

She also told them how her department helped take the 911 loads from other counties that lost communications.

“I really appreciate you guys stepping up and doing what you needed to do,” Cooper told Wright and the other first responders in the room, which included Sheriff James Clemmons and Rockingham’s police and fire chiefs, Billy Kelly and Harold Isler.

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CORDOVA — Although separated by 800 miles, two groups of firefighters formed a camaraderie in the midst of Hurricane Florence.

A FEMA-credentialed swiftwater task force comprised of firefighters from several departments in New Hampshire made the drive to Richmond County last week to work with Cordova Fire and Rescue.

“People have come up to help us in the past, so we’re just returning the favor,” said Patrick Laforge of the Goffstown Fire Department said Monday while waiting to try Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue at the East Rockingham Fire Department.

Joining Laforge from Goffstown was Chris Couturier as well as: Keith Folsom, Jon Strong and Capt. Ben Selleck from the Bedford Fire Department; Jeff Chickering, Dustin Holmes and Brad Keay from the Keene Fire Department; Tom Defina and Mike Meehan from the Manchester Fire Department; Cal Weichert and Darren Schriever from the Amherst Fire Department; and Garrett Meador and Chad McCarthy from the Conway and North Conway Fire Departments, respectively.

Although they weren’t needed much in Richmond County, last Sunday night they rescued more than 30 people from homes and cars in Laurinburg as the parts of the city began to flood.

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HAMLET— While Richmond County was spared the type of destruction experienced by other counties in North Carolina from Hurricane Florence, some first responders are doing what they can to help others.

At noon Thursday, the Hamlet Police Department began filling its enclosed traffic trailer with donated supplies. Although officers haven’t yet determined where the supplies will be going, Capt. Randy Dover said residents in Robeson County will more than likely be the recipients … again.

“We did it for Hurricane Matthew and the community really turned out for that,” Dover said, adding that the trailer “was pretty full” in 2016.

Scotland County, which is also dealing with flooding, is a possibility, but Dover said Robeson County is “the main concern.”

Dover was born and raised in Scotland County and said he’s “never seen flooding like this.”

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Thursday, 20 September 2018 22:23

NWS: Florence Remnant Could Return to Carolinas

ROCKINGHAM— Florence may not be finished with the Carolinas just yet.

A remnant of the once-Category 4 hurricane that devastated parts of North and South Carolina over the weekend could be headed this way.

According to the National Weather Service, a low pressure system left over from Florence has looped back around and currently has gale-force winds. As of 8:07 p.m. Thursday, the system was 100 miles northeast of Bermuda heading southwest at 15 mph.

While the probability is only 20 percent, meteorologists say the low could develop tropical characteristics over the next five days.

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ROCKINGHAM — There are currently nine roads closed in Richmond County in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Some of the roads could be open as early as this week, while others may take a month or two to repair.

Derby Road is closed due to flooding between McBride Road and Sycamore Lane north of Hoffman. DOT officials expect it to be open again by Sept. 27.

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