Pro Bono News
How the NC Legal Community is Helping After Florence (NC)
Thursday, September 20, 2018
- North Carolina Lawyers Weekly
How the NC Legal Community is Helping After Florence
"By the time that North Carolina Lawyers Weekly went to press Sept. 20, Hurricane Florence had dropped up to three feet of rain in parts of the state, leading to flooding with the potential for more on the way. The Cape Fear River has already risen to 25 feet above flood stage according to the National Weather Service.
At least 27 people have died in the state as a result of the storm, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.
While the full extent of the damage has yet to be ascertained, economists told the AP that they predict damages will exceed $17 billion in lost economic output and property damage.
While the primary concern of those impacted is taking care of their homes and loved ones, lawyers throughout the state are taking action to help others, doing everything from providing donations and aid to helping with the rescue of those who are trapped in the flood waters.
Members of the legal community are also taking the lead to serve another important function that may be less obvious at this early stage of cleanup. The North Carolina Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division, the North Carolina Bar Foundation and Legal Aid of North Carolina are working to provide free legal support for those who are impacted by the storm.
“I’m a strong believer in the power of a response,” said NCBF pro bono staff attorney Nihad Mansour, whose responsibilities include working with online pro bono service provider freelegalanswers.org, a service created by the American Bar Association. “Response gives hope to someone in a devastating situation … I definitely believe free legal answers is you responding to a simple question that is helpful to direct someone in the right way and tell them where to go, to not feel alone in this, that there are attorneys in North Carolina that want to help and are willing and ready to be responsive when they’re needed.”
In response to the storm, Mansour said that the website is providing free online legal resources to income-eligible Hurricane Florence victims who have questions about storm-related legal problems..."