County must be part of the FEMA listing

Scotland County has seen and felt its fair share of tragedy and sorrowful stories over the past several days, thanks to the devastating wrath of Hurricane Florence.

Was that devastation on the same scale as Wilmington’s? No. Was it close to the same challenges forced on Robeson County? No. Was it worthy of our federal government’s attention? Absolutely.

But so far, despite President Trump keeping a close eye on how the latest hurricane moved trough North Carolina and then the wind and heavy rain damage it left behind, his administration has yet to approve Scotland County be included on the FEMA disaster assistance list.

That approval is paramount for Scotland County residents to begin signing up for residential and business assistance that would help jump-start the recovery process.

It is our understanding that Sen. Thom Tillis’ office is working closely with Gov. Roy Cooper to get Trump’s approval for Scotland County, but we think more pressure is needed. Our local elected officials — from mayors, council members, county chairman and council members to all emergency management officials — need to join forces to help sway the president to put his signature on that approval.

There is much to be concerned with here now that recovery has begun. Low-lying residential areas were under water; vehicles were lost; water mains broke; businesses were flooded; roads were damaged and closed; and things won’t be improving very quickly.

Trump came to North Carolina on Wednesday to tour the devastated areas of the state following Florence. Was Scotland County on the list of tour stops? Probably Not. But he was certainly in the region. We hope someone from Scotland County made an effort to get the president’s ear.

Yes, New Hanover, Bladen, Robeson and Cumberland counties need immediate assistance. But Scotland County also needs to be on FEMA’s radar now.

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CITY COUNCIL SQUABBLING

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The Laurinburg City Council probably should have just postponed its meeting Tuesday.

It seemed evident right from the start that certain factions — on the board and from the decent-sized crowd — weren’t interested in conducting city business in anything resembling a positive way.

We blame the mayor, who appeared to want to be anywhere but in a city meeting. Rather than showing any kind of leadership capabilities, Mayor Block simply chose to add to the chaos. And Linda Huntley, often accused of being a Block mouthpiece who spoke from the floor, seemed to initiate and lead the charge in chastising the local efforts during and after Hurricane Florence.

We are barely a few days past the storm that gave the city and county any number of severe challenges. This should be a time for banding together and uplifting those who are doing their best under very difficult circumstances, not complaining about how everything isn’t going what these complainers perceive as perfect.

Tuesday’s meeting by the city, which probably should have lasted only about 90 minutes, instead dragged on for about 150 minutes thanks to the usual antagonists.

Shame on them.