Governor Roy Cooper visits Clinton FD, commends department on Hurricane Dorian water rescue

CLINTON (WTVD) -- Governor Roy Cooper made a stop in Clinton on Tuesday morning to commend the fire department for their efforts during Hurricane Dorian.

Around noon, the governor arrived at the fire department and praised the crew for the water rescue they conducted on September 5.

Clinton Fire Department (CFD) tells ABC 11 they responded to Henry Lee Lane, a rural part of Sampson County, in response to a water rescue.

"We were prepared for the worst. We were familiar with the area," Captain Joshua Cooms said.

A nearby pond was at risk of overflowing, but thankfully, a family of four were rescued without incident.

"A pond that was on the verge of overflowing. If it washed the road out, it would've been impassable," Cooms said.

The governor praised CFD's swiftness, with the help of the N.C. National Guard, and overall preparation.

"Just on the ready to respond and help the members of their community," Cooper said.

In light of Hurricane Florence and Matthews, CFD beefed up their crews all last week, incorporated extra gear for falling tree limbs, and used more accessible scanners.

"I'm glad everybody was in place and resources were here, such as the National Guard," Cooms said.

Despite the impact of Dorian being minimal in counties like Sampson, Cooper says he's proud to see the commitment to readiness statewide.

"We are now in a new normal. When you have three hurricanes hitting North Carolina in less than three years, you know it's a difference," Cooper said.

Reasons why Cooper is looking to find ways to pump more money into rural areas. Some of those ways include: bringing high-speed internet, implementing school bonds, and assisting counties with grants.

"They're looking at building a new emergency operation center here in Sampson County, and they're going to need some help from the outside," Cooper said.
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