LUMBERTON — One of the many victims of Hurricane Matthew was The Robesonian newspaper, whose office at 2175 Roberts Ave. in Lumberton was flooded, delaying delivery of the newspaper’s Oct. 9 edition, which will be delivered this week.
The entire building, including its pressroom, was under about 3 feet of water, which destroyed electronics, furniture and other office equipment, making it uninhabitable. The water also destroyed one of the company’s vehicles and a car belonging to a reporter.
Publisher Rick Thomason said the newspaper would look for a temporary headquarters from which to work and would have its print edition — and several sister newspapers that are printed in Lumberton — published at a remote location that will have to be determined.
“We plan to have a print edition delivered on Tuesday,” Thomason said.
The Robesonian’s news staff today resumed coverage of Robeson County, including the damage done by Matthew, but getting that news to the readers, both in print and online, depends on a lot of other factors, including power and internet access. Editor Donnie Douglas left town to work remotely at a Charlotte hotel, where his staff will feed him information and that he will use to populate www.robesonian.com today and on Monday.
“The irony is this is a time when newspapers can really do a good job with delivering need-to-know information,” Douglas said, “and our ability to do that has been severely compromised, which is incredibly frustrating. But we will do our best.”
Managing Editor Sarah Willets will lead the reporting from Lumberton.
The Robesonian will continue to update this story as information is available, including how to contact key individuals with the newspaper, in news, advertising and circulation.