Another $500 million in total funding is expected this summer for those still reeling from Hurricane Matthew nine months ago. That’s good – but the money’s coming even as North Carolinians in flood-prone areas brace for the hurricane season of 2017. And that’s not good.
What was revealed in the aftermath of Matthew was a too-slow federal bureaucracy, well-meaning but with only a fraction of needed money in hand. That’s both the nature of the bureaucratic beast and a reflection of the government’s caution, perhaps, about fraud in the wake of a disaster, when there are millions of dollars somewhere in the pipeline.
The caution may be understandable, but that’s not much comfort for families still in motels, or still waiting for money from Department of Housing and Urban Development block grants to help people with homes.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has been working to free up money for assistance, and he has done so.
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What victims need is elected representatives who have been to the flood sites (most have) who can share their alarm and their anger and harness both to light a fire in Washington. It is times such as these that are the real test for elected representatives. For many North Carolinians right now, the grades are mixed.