Speaker Continues Tours of Florence Damage, Discusses Legislative Relief

Expresses support for waiving missed school days, tapping record reserve

Raleigh, N.C. – State House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) continued touring eastern North Carolina on Tuesday to assess the damage of Hurricane Florence with state officials and colleagues from the North Carolina House of Representatives.  

Speaker Moore toured New Bern, N.C. on Monday with state House Majority Leader John Bell (R-Wayne) and Rep. Michael Speciale (R-Craven), as well as Governor Roy Cooper and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coordinator Albie Lewis.  He also met with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

On Tuesday morning, Speaker Moore departed Sanford, N.C. by helicopter at 10:00 a.m. with state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler and Representative Jimmy Dixon (R-Duplin) to assess damage to farming and livestock operations.

The flight plan included aerial views over Bladen, Cumberland, Craven, Duplin, Harnett, Lee, Pender, Robeson, and Wayne counties.

Following the flight, Speaker Moore and members of his staff planned to tour Cumberland and Robeson counties on the ground with state representatives from that area.  More information will be provided on the afternoon tour as it becomes available.

Speaker Moore spoke to Spectrum News from New Bern on Monday:

“The first responders and emergency personnel really did an amazing job saving lives,” Moore said. “Rescues are happening as we speak.  There are a number of homes that completely collapsed. We’re seeing a huge amount of devastation for this community and this is just one area.”

Speaker Moore discussed next-steps for the legislature to assist with relief efforts:

“We’re very fortunate that in our budget this year we had a $2 billion rainy fund,” Moore said.  “It’s moments like this you are glad you have those funds.”

 “We just have to pick up and rebuild.  I ask folks to keep praying, for the folks here, for the first responders.  As we move forward this is going to be an expensive cleanup.”

Speaker Moore said he supports waiving school calendar requirements to assist regions of North Carolina where students were missing significant class time.

“Some schools are being used as temporary shelters right now and some have been destroyed,” Moore said. 

I think we need to look at a waiver for attendance days, we don’t need to have kids who may be missing schools for weeks at a time, trying to make that up for weeks into the summer.  I think that’s unreasonable.  I think we need to make some accommodation on that, on the school calendar.  That’s something I support and believe we can take care of.  So many families’ lives are being uprooted right now and anything we can do to make their lives easier, we need to do.”

“The emergency response folks are doing an amazing jobs.  Some of the water remediation is critical in the first stage.  The prevention of mold needs to happen right now, so driving through we saw a lot of companies that already came into homes to do that.  There are going to be folks who don’t have homes, so we need to make sure we’re helping on both those fronts.  There are going to have to be temporary housing brought in by FEMA, for getting people back on their feet and safe.”

Speaker Moore’s office released details of legislator briefings on Hurricane Florence last Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, as well as Sunday and Monday of this week.

His office planned to release another transcript of the daily update Tuesday. 

Mobile And Online Resources:

Shelters +  River Updates + To Volunteer + Road Updates

Farmer Assistance: 1-866-645-9403

For questions regarding Hurricane Florence, please call 211 or 888-892-1162, and use 911 only in case of emergencies.  Text “Florence” to 898211 for assistance. If you haven’t downloaded the ReadyNC mobile app, do so by clicking here.

For the latest updates on the storm, visit hurricanes.gov.  To follow updates from FEMA on Florence, please visit their website here.  For additional resources, visit readync.org or ready.gov.  Recursos en español.


Preparing For The Storm:

  • Turn on your TV or radio in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
  • Review your evacuation zone, evacuation route and shelter locations. Plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead.
  • Keep your car in good working condition, and keep the gas tank full; stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.
  • Bookmark your city or county website for quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions.
  • Bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
  • If possible, cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.
  • Be prepared to lose power for several days. Charge electronic devices, spare external cell phone batteries, turn refrigerators to their lowest setting and only open when necessary.
  • Checklist of emergency supplies
  • Evacuation and shelter information

During The Storm:

  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Do not drive around barricades.
  • If sheltering during high winds, go to a FEMA safe room, ICC 500 storm shelter, or a small, interior, windowless room or hallway on the lowest floor that is not subject to flooding.
  • If trapped in a building by flooding, go to the highest level of the building. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising flood water.
  • Listen for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery outdoors ONLY and away from windows.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.

After The Storm:

  • Listen to authorities for information and special instructions.
  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else.
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
  • Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.
  • Document any property damage with photographs. Contact your insurance company for assistance.