Local News

Lumberton family organizes aid, learns they are affected by Harvey

Posted August 29, 2017 7:03 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 2:05 p.m. EDT

— Hundreds of thousands of Texas evacuees have left everything behind, not knowing what will be there when they return home. Aid is pouring in from around the country, including a truckload from Lumberton, packed by people who know what it's like to lose everything to water.

The truck was packed in Robeson County, a community that is still recovering from the floods of Hurricane Matthew.

Angelica Ortega is scrambling to help victims devastated by the flooding in Houston. It's something her husband's Christian organization has been doing in Robeson County for victims of Hurricane Matthew.

Ortega family

"My husband, he's been here helping the City of Lumberton, the county," Ortega said. "He's helping to rebuild."

Pastor Jose Ortega learned just two days ago that his his house in Texas is under water.

"Our neighborhood is flooded. When we got here, my kids are getting messages from their friends and in that neighborhood that they have to get rescued out," Ortega said.

The couple has prepared more than a dozen pallets of supplies and loaded them on an 18 wheeler headed for Houston.

"They need supplies, food, water, you know," Angelica Ortega said. "Everyone lost everything over there."

When Hurricane Matthew hit, help for Robeson County poured in from all over the country. Even though folks there are still feeling the sting of that storm, county leaders are pitching in to help the Ortegas.

"He has his wife and his seven children here helping to pack up items that the county is going to be sending out to Hurricane Harvey," said Robeson County spokeswoman Emily Jones. "And we've been in close contact with the mayor's office in Houston."

The couple said when they help so much, it’s hard to think about becoming a victim.

"We're okay," Ortega said. "We're even okay right now. I don't care about what has happened to our material things. People have escaped with their lives, and that's what matters.”

The county is going to be collecting supplies at a warehouse on West 5th Street to send to Houston. A person will be onsite from 8:30 to 4:30 Monday through Friday.