Former NC governor Pat McCrory reflects on past hurricanes and local response

Former NC governor Pat McCrory reflects on past hurricanes and local response

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - One of the most visible acts of help for Hurricane Katrina survivors was carried out at the old Charlotte Coliseum. It provided shelter to those who lost everything, and for Pat McCrory who was mayor at the time, opening doors and hearts became a defining experience.

"We had every charity you could imagine welcoming people from New Orleans with open arms right here in Charlotte, and it was one the most emotional, proud moments in Charlotte history," McCrory said. "Cities like Charlotte reached out and said we want to help."

History does bring its moments of heartbreak, as is the case when eastern North Carolina was soaked with the remnants of Hurricane Matthew.

"Like Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Matthew impacted the poorest of the poor. More than anyone else," McCrory said.

In his last year as governor, McCrory toured a number of flooded communities throughout the state, but there's one place where the images still stick in his head.

He calls Fairmont, NC, an unforgettable place.

"Fairmont was their main street, their roads, their homes are gone," McCrory said, "and I'm not sure that if we're ever going to have a Fairmont again, at least in the downtown area."

It's the same concern that he shares regarding Houston, and the ongoing challenges brought on by Hurricane Harvey.

"We ought to be offering them everything we've got - from public safety to boats to food to supplies - and maybe even a home right here in Charlotte and throughout North Carolina," McCrory said.

McCrory also said that he's concerned about Louisiana as well, considering that rain is in the forecast for that state.

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