Governor says Hurricane Matthew death toll climbs to 28 in North Carolina

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Governor Pat McCrory in Lumberton Thursday.

Governor Pat McCrory reported Thursday that the death toll from Hurricane Matthew climbed to 28 after a Kinston man hurt in the storm died of his injuries.

The governor made the announcement after an afternoon tour of neighborhoods in Lumberton still reeling from the aftermath of the historic storm.

"In Lumberton, we're dealing with some very, very serious issues," Governor McCrory lamented to ABC11 Eyewitness News. "There are issues for its citizens, for its government, for its safety and for its environmental safety."

Also at his afternoon news conference, McCrory announced more than 100 roads in North Carolina remained closed because of storm damage, and more than 200 people are still living in shelters.

"We're going to have some very serious financial issues we're going to have to deal with," the governor added, noting the expected loss in property values and tax revenues that come with people moving away.

Hurricane Matthew dumped more than a foot of rain on Robeson County and the surrounding areas. A few days later the storm water runoff from everywhere else made its way downstream, further drenching the area.

Also Thursday, many families continued to dig out what they could salvage from their homes and continue with costly restoration projects.

"I haven't been sleeping well, and neither has my wife," flood victim Joe Glezen quipped to ABC11 Eyewitness News. "This is my home, I'm comfortable here, but now I feel out of control."

Glezen's home sustained significant water damage despite the fact that the flood waters barely reached his first floor. Contractors explained that drywall and insulation materials become sponge-like in the way they absorb water. If the wood remains moist, it could attract termites.

"My wife hasn't seen (the damage) yet and I'm not going to let her see it until this is all done," Glezen said.

Several organizations are accepting donations on behalf of Lumberton families and businesses still recovering from the storm. Governor McCrory made it a point to tell folks that crews are in dire need of cleaning supplies like brooms and detergent.

For more information, visit www.ncdisasterrelief.org.
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weatherhurricane matthewLumberton
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