Cooper visits Fayetteville to assess Matthew recovery

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Gov. Roy Cooper met with many still displaced by Hurricane Matthew.

Gov. Roy Cooper met with Fayetteville and Cumberland County leaders Monday to discuss how to best help families and communities recover from Hurricane Matthew.

Cooper was joined by Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks, NC Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry, and city and county officials.

The discussion focused on the progress made and continuing needs for hard-hit areas.

"Help is on the way for storm survivors and we're here to pull together to get the job done," Cooper said. "We need to use this opportunity to rebuild smart and strong for the future of our communities, businesses and schools."

Cooper said more than 1,000 families remain in hotels nearly four months after the storm dumped record rainfall in many communities, down from a peak of 1,900 families.

Approximately 200 families in Cumberland County are still displaced from their homes and living in hotels through a FEMA program for temporary shelter.

On Tuesday, state Emergency Management leaders will meet with 30 state and federal partners to consider innovative approaches to the housing crisis caused by Hurricane Matthew.

"Families whose lives were upended by Hurricane Matthew need a safe place to live while they get back on their feet," Cooper said. "This is a complex problem and it will take creative ideas to solve it."

Three Disaster Recovery Centers remain open through Thursday to help survivors with their cases, including one in Fayetteville that Cooper visited Monday.

"Storm survivors are getting help from state and local leaders, nonprofits and faith communities, and countless volunteers," Cooper said. "There's much work ahead of us but also signs of progress and hope, like this project."

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