GREENVILLE — U.S. Rep. Greg Murphy is making his first official visit to the 3rd Congressional District today since being sworn in earlier this week in Washington, D.C.
His stops will include Ocracoke Island, which was hard hit during Hurricane Dorian earlier this month, and East Carolina University.
The Greenville Republican is scheduled to arrive at Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department at 10 a.m. today where he will meet with officials and National Parks Service Superintendent Dave Hallac to tour areas affected by Dorian.
“It’s important people understand we’re hitting the ground running. That is an area that was devastated by Hurricane Dorian,” Murphy said. “We are going to meet FEMA people out there and see if we can expedite assistance for the people of Ocracoke Island.”
Gov. Roy Cooper last week asked President Donald Trump to issue a major disaster declaration for public assistance. The declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide supplement funding for debris removal, life-saving emergency protective measures and the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain private nonprofit organizations.
Murphy still is assembling his office staff but his district director, Lindy Robinson, and adviser Wayne King will accompany him to Ocracoke to help gather information.
After the Ocracoke visit, Murphy will return to Greenville and meet with East Carolina University interim chancellor Dan Gerlach prior to the ECU Pirates’ 6 p.m. kickoff against William & Mary.
Murphy also is attempting to schedule a meeting with the U.S. Marine Corps’ chief of staff at Camp Lejuene on Tuesday to inspect damage caused by the hurricane.
Murphy described stepping into the well of the U.S. House chamber on Tuesday as a surreal experience.
“Just a week prior I had been in the General Assembly and now moving to a national stage is very humbling,” he said. “I have the people of the entire Third District to thank for supporting me and placing their confidence in me.”
Since taking the oath of office Murphy has been discussing his likely committee assignments. Those appointments are made by a steering committee which is scheduled to meet next week.
“There are not many vacancies at this point and time because we are in the middle of session,” Murphy said.
The new congressman is also setting up his offices in Washington and the Third District.
“We haven’t had a congressional office in about a year and there are a lot of people who need to be served, need to have their issues dealt with,” he said. “We are trying to do the best we can and to do it as quickly as possible.”
Murphy previously said he plans to have offices in Greenville, Jacksonville and Edenton. He also wants to have part-time offices in Carteret and Craven counties to assist two areas with large population centers.
“We plan on being a very customer service-oriented congressional office,” he said.
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