Overlooking Sampson not acceptable

Whether an unintended oversight or a deliberate slight, Sampson County’s name should immediately be added to the state’s federal disaster list.

It should have never been left off. We are surrounded by flooded roads, broken dams, devastated crops, power outages and uninhabitable homes, yet when residents perused a list of the 31 disaster counties, Sampson’s wasn’t among them. Imagine the surprise, the frustration and the disbelief. How is it even possible?

Is it any wonder now, that Sampsonians find it hard to believe that this was merely an oversight? It’s easy enough to blame it on an error, to point out that it was merely a now you see it, now you don’t mistake, but seriously, how could it have happened in the first place?

According to Sen. Brent Jackson, an Autryville resident, Sampson County was included on Gov. Pat McCrory’s disaster list but not on the list compiled by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

We hope that’s true, but, we’ll leave whether that’s plausible to the individual and focus on the bigger and more important fact: Sampson needs to be added to the federal disaster declaration list, which opens the door for further federal assistance to recover from the massive flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew.

Thanks to attentive Sampson County residents, Sheriff Jimmy Thornton, county officials and Jackson, among others, it appears that will happen.

The noise raised when a federal disaster declaration list signed by McCrory was released Monday with Sampson’s name no where to be seen got immediate attention, proving once again that there is strength in numbers, particularly when those numbers come with loud voices.

But attention is not enough, we want action, and we want it now, ensuring that Sampson is not left out of the immediate relief we need because of this devastating storm.

“We have been told it will be added later this week,” the senator stated.

That’s good, but we need to be added without delay, not in a few days!

Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said Tuesday that he had been in contact with McCrory’s office, as was Jackson. We are thankful for their efforts as well as the efforts of residents who added their voices to those of Jackson and Thornton.

According to an article in Wednesday’s Independent, Sampson resident Janette Williams-Cross encapsulated the thoughts of many. “Being a resident of Sampson County and knowing how much damage has been done by Hurricane Mathew, I would like to know why Governor McCrory overlooked our county as one of the counties he listed to receive relief?”

So would we. But even more importantly we want to be sure what everyone is saying actually happens. Put us on the list please and give our county and its residents the relief we need.

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