New Bern leaders discuss recovery at news conference

New Bern

New Bern has come a long way in the past few weeks, trying to get this city cleaned up and returned to normal. On Friday, New Bern aldermen, the city manager and mayor gathered to share an update on the recovery process.

“We felt as the city of New Bern, it was very important to keep our citizens aware where we are at this point,” said Mayor Dana Outlaw. 

City manager Mark Stephens said one of their biggest challenges is debris pickup. 

“We want to try to get our citizens back to their normal lives and get the piles out of their front yards,” Stephens said. 

As of Thursday, more than 26,000 tons of vegetative debris had been collected, and they are only about halfway done. 

Nearly 2,100 tons of construction debris was collected, and it may take eight to ten more weeks to complete the process.

“We have quite a few crews working on it,” said Stephens. “We are bringing in an additional 21 crews to assist with that.” 

“As we continue for the next couple of weeks and months, the emphasis will change, and it will continue to be the debris removal, but it will also continue to be the concerns of our citizens, getting the resources to New Bern that are needed, like shelter,” said Outlaw.

Stephens said temporary housing is one of their main concerns moving forward.

“Alderman Odham and myself were in Washington D.C. last week,” Stephens said. “We met with Senator Burr, Tillis and Congressman Jones. We submitted some letters this week to all of those individuals as well as our local and state elected officials to try to get that expedited as quickly as possible to try to get people places to stay.”

The city has released a guide of recovery resources for hurricane victims, which you can see here.

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