When Hurricane Matthew slammed into North Carolina in 2016, the seasoned editor at The Robesonian in Lumberton, North Carolina, grabbed what he could and headed to Charlotte, hunkered down and rode it out, posting to the paper’s website and Facebook to keep the folks back home as informed as he could.
When he could, he made his way back to Lumberton to find the paper’s building — and the majority of the county — under water. It would remain that way for months and the paper, founded in 1870, would not get to move back into its building for another eight months.
It was a tough time for Donnie Douglas, 61, now into his second stint as editor of The Robesonian and his 34th year in the newspaper business. He will complete 22 years on Nov. 4 of this year, his first tour being from 1984 to 1990.
Fast forward to two weeks ago when Hurricane Florence set her sights on the coasts of the Carolinas. Same scenario, different hurricane: time to grab the computer and get out of town while he still could.