Honored Social Butterfly

Re: Americans Abandoned By Trump - Repeatedly

Message 21 of 24

Congrats - you found a George Soros funded rag that is willing to bad-mouth President Trump.


How do you do that??

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Re: Americans Abandoned By Trump - Repeatedly

Message 22 of 24

LUMBERTON, N.C. — Dianne Powell is living a recurring nightmare.


In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew filled her brick house with rainwater — up to her waist. The storm inundated her town, engulfing homes and highways and causing $4.8 billion worth of damage statewide.


She rebuilt.


Then Hurricane Florence struck and swamped her home again.


Powell is faced again with the wrenching process of mending what two storms destroyed within two years. She’s unsure how she’ll pay for repairs.


“It was all so pretty,” she said with a sigh.


Powell’s is the story of countless residents of Robeson County, whose families, friends, neighbors and congregations provided support after Hurricane Matthew when the government’s pathways to recovery left many overwhelmed, left behind or never heard.


And they wonder: Will it be any better this time around?

Matthew — October 2016


Robeson County was already struggling when Hurricane Matthew hit, and it hadn’t gotten back to that already-low baseline when Hurricane Florence rolled through the region.


It’s among the poorest (with 30 percent of residents living below the poverty line), unhealthiest and most dangerous counties in North Carolina, beset with issues more typical of inner-city neighborhoods despite its status as a largely rural community of a little more than 130,000 people.


The hurricanes’ flooding displaced thousands from their homes and cut off access to their medicine. Looters waded into rushing water filled with snakes and alligators, breaking into liquor stores and houses, nabbing electronics and jewelry, residents said.


In interviews this summer and fall before and after Hurricane Florence many residents said they found attention and assistance for their problems on the local level, but didn’t feel that same support from their federal lawmakers.


What they said they saw and experienced were a handful of speeches, inflated promises, delayed funds and not enough repaired homes.


Struggle with FEMA

After Hurricane Matthew, Powell struggled for months to secure government assistance, but received confusing and conflicting information over the course of a dozen meetings with Federal Emergency Management Agency officials. Exasperated, she eventually stopped trying to rebuild her home with FEMA aid.


“You work all your life, you have a decent home. And you go in front of FEMA and they sometimes look like they couldn’t care less, or like they think you’re lying,” said Powell, 64, in July. “It was just so painful. I said forget it.”

To select the communities featured in “Abandoned in America,” the Center for Public Integrity analyzed numerous government and non-governmental data sets on economic vitality and political power.
Among them: campaign contribution data from the Federal Election Commission; Census Bureau data on household income, race, ethnicity and English language proficiency; congressional district office locations and congressional town halls from the Town Hall Project and election data from Open Elections. Then, reporters researched several dozen communities further before ultimately choosing six, spread around the country, to visit and profile. — Joe Yerardi


Powell’s cousin suggested another route for help: the Baptist church. Using her savings, some flood insurance money and a $20,000 low-interest Small Business Administration disaster loan, a church recovery group finished fixing Powell’s home in July 2018 — in just a few months — using volunteer labor.


Even before Hurricane Florence, FEMA officials explained they do the best they can amid calamities such as these, and that it’s the “nature of disaster” that some people will be lost in the process.


“Unfortunately, there are times when not every need is met, but our staff works really hard to try and avoid that,” said Libby Turner, the federal coordinating officer for Hurricane Matthew at FEMA, when asked about Powell’s plight and the struggles of those like her. “And it’s sad, there are times when I stumble because it just makes me want to write [their names] down and go find them.”


Now, it’s unclear how much federal aid Robeson County will receive for Hurricane Florence, as the dollar figures change by the hour while the recovery process just begins to take shape.


As of Oct. 8, Robeson County residents received $5.9 million in state and federal grants to help rebuild or to cover other storm-related expenses, according to FEMA. And Gov. Roy Cooper announced in late September that Robeson would be one of 28 North Carolina counties to get a share of $18.5 million from the U.S. Department of Labor to hire state residents to do recovery and cleanup work.


Some local politicians, such as Lumberton City Councilman Columbus “Chris” Howard Jr., face the same situation as their constituents: waiting to rebuild and feeling disconnected from Washington.


Every few moments during a tour of the town this summer, Howard pointed to a house he drove past, explaining where the owner is now or the status of the rebuilding process.


“I know the people — I’ve been here for 40 years,” he said. “This person was in the shelter with us. This house is supposed to be torn down and rebuilt. She has a second mortgage, so she can’t afford to do anything. This fella here has gotten into his house within about 12 months.”


Although pumps helped suck away the more than a foot of water that fell on Lumberton, remnants of the destruction still speckled the streets over the summer almost two years later.


A concrete foundation with no structure on top.


Depiped toilets placed on porches.


The shuttered West Lumberton Elementary School.


Entire culs-de-sac of public housing without a car in the driveway or inhabitant to be seen.


Then Hurricane Florence arrived. And FEMA officials couldn’t answer his questions if that work would ever start.


“It’s confusing to me when I went to ask [FEMA]. Nobody knows anything, you can’t give me no answers,” Howard said. “I’m through with this house. I want them to buy it. There was hope. Hope to hopelessness. This dream is gone.”


“We still don’t have all the money promised to us from the last storm,” Howard said. “So how long will it take us for Florence? Five years? More?”


“It is deeply concerning that these federal disaster dollars are not being released when many North Carolina families are still living in temporary housing,” Republican U.S. Sens. Burr and Tillis and Reps. Walter Jones, Virginia Foxx, Richard Hudson, David Rouzer, George Holding and Pittenger wrote in May in a joint letter to the governor. “Any further delay may also have unacceptable consequences on any future disaster aid requests.”


by Ashley Balcerzak

( " China if You're Listening - Get Trumps Tax Returns " )

" )
" - Anonymous

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Re: Americans Abandoned By Trump - Repeatedly

Message 23 of 24
have heard crickets about the infrastructure. Guess the wall is more important. Our roads/bridges are falling apart. He is clueless, focused on himself only.
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Americans Abandoned By Trump - Repeatedly

Message 24 of 24



President Donald Trump has declared the United States’ economy to be “the best economy we've ever had in the history of our country.”


His administration likewise declared the nation’s decades-long war on poverty “largely over and a success.”


So Center for Public Integrity reporters this summer visited six communities where residents say the crushing effects of poverty and government neglect aren’t improving they’ve gone from bad to worse.


Problems range from broken education systems to unlivable housing to infrastructure fit for the third world. One factor binds them together: a profound lack of political clout on the eve of a critical midterm election that will decide the balance of power in Washington. Here are their stories.



Source -



( " China if You're Listening - Get Trumps Tax Returns " )

" )
" - Anonymous

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