Here are updates from the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, with road conditions, school makeup days, where to seek help and where to donate money and supplies.
Death toll: It now stands at four. The body of Lee David Milton, 51, of 1743 N.C. 55, Dunn, was found Oct. 11 in a water-filled ditch on N.C. 96 south of the Meadow community. According to a report, Milton had declined a ride home of Oct. 9, choosing instead to walk home.
Water: As of Tuesday, a boil advisory remained in place for scattered spots of Johnston County. Those places were awaiting test results before lifting the advisory. For more information, go to pws.ncwater.org/PETS/pages/default.aspx.
Electricity: Most of Johnston County had power again as of Wednesday, but Emergency Services warned that repair work throughout the county could cause brief outages.
Roads: Many secondary roads in Johnston County remain impassable in spots after floodwaters washed away pavement. A section of Smith Road, about two miles from Cleveland High School, was washed away near Walkers Ridge subdivision. The N.C. Department of Transportation also reported that Galilee Road was impassable in both directions. Also impassable at midweek: U.S. 301 near Four Oaks between Temple and Parkertown roads, Buffalo Road near Selma, Little Creek Farm Road near Micro, Batten Farm Road near Micro, Rains Crossroads Road near Pine Level, Bizzell Grove Church Road, Old Rock Quarry Road, West Olive Road, Rock Pillar Road, Progressive Church Road near Princeton, Eldridge Road, Thompson Road near Four Oaks and Alonzo Road. For more information on Johnston County road conditions, go to tims.ncdot.gov/tims/RegionSummary.aspx?co=51.
Property damage: A preliminary assessment by county Emergency Services showed at least $12 million in damage to residential properties in Johnston County, but that number isexpected to climb.
School makeup days: Starting Monday, Oct. 24, the school day in Johnston County will grow by 10 minutes. Also, students on Johnston’s traditional school calendar will now go to school on Halloween. Students at South Smithfield Elementary and West Smithfield Elementary will now go to school on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017. This makeup plan preserves Christmas and spring breaks and keeps June 8, 2017, as the last day for students.
Farm loans: Because of Hurricane Matthew, Johnston County farmers who suffered building, equipment and production losses are eligible for emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency. The deadline to file a loan application is June 12, 2017. The Johnston County FSA office is in Suite C at the Agricultural Center, 2736 N.C. 210, Smithfield. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Jobless benefits: Johnstonians who lost their jobs or businesses because of Hurricane Matthew may qualify for Disaster Unemployment Assistance from the state’s Division of Employment Security. The deadline to apply for benefits is Nov. 14. To apply, call 1-866-795-8877 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.
Disaster legal services: A toll-free hotline for legal aid is available for victims of Hurricane Matthew in North Carolina. Low-income storm victims facing legal issues may call 1-800-662-7407, the assistance line activated by the N.C. Bar Association. Callers should say they are seeking Hurricane Matthew-related legal help, ask for Disaster Legal Services and state their county of residence.
Among other things, attorneys can help with:
▪ Securing FEMA and other benefits available to disaster survivors.
▪ Life, medical and property insurance claims
▪ Home-repair contracts and contractors
▪ Replacement of wills and other legal documents destroyed in the disaster.
The hotline is available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
FEMA Disaster Recovery Center: Individuals or businesses needing help after Hurricane Matthew can go the the Johnston Count FEMA Disaster Recovery Center. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays at 912 N. Bright Leaf Blvd. in Smithfield.
Disaster assistance: Johnstonians who suffered property damage because of Hurricane Matthew should register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. People can register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone or Web-enabled device at m.fema.gov. Applicants may also call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 (TTY) between 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Separately, low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration can help homeowners, renters, nonprofits and businesses of all sizes, including landlords, repair or rebuild their properties. Also, the SBA can help replace lost or damaged personal property. Disaster loans cover losses not fully covered by insurance. For more information, call 800-659-2955, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.
Donations: To help Johnstonians recover from Hurricane Matthew, the county’s Emergency Management Department is accepting donations of money and goods. Make monetary donations to the County of Johnston Relief Fund and mail them to P.O. Box 530, Smithfield, N.C. 27577.
Donations of nonperishable food, baby items such as diapers and wipes, house-cleaning products, person-hygiene items and pet products may be carried to 912 N. Bright Leaf Blvd. in Smithfield. Donation hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays.
Johnston Community College is collecting toiletries and clothing for the Smithfield Rescue Mission, using boxes on campus through Oct. 28.
Schools in the Clayton High School attendance area are collecting donations for flood victims under a campaign called “Clayton Cares.” Students may drop off items with their first-block teachers, and members from the community can drop off donations in the schools’ offices. Needed items include packaged underwear, new pillows and gently used linens, new socks, personal hygiene items and toiletries, gently used clothes, new or very gently used shoes, nonperishable food items canned goods and cleaning supplies.
Clayton: Town Manager Adam Lindsay said the town’s greenway along the Neuse River will remain closed until it passes inspection. A number of the trail’s bridges sustained varying levels of damage from the flooding, including one bridge that was ripped from its foundation and destroyed beyond repair. The town doesn’t have a date for when the greenway might reopen.
Storm debris: The state has designated temporary disaster debris staging sites around North Carolina, including one at the Johnston County landfill at 680 Country Home Road, Smithfield.