Under the Dome

NC asks feds for $1 billion in disaster recovery

Several dams failed following the flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew. One dam was washed away and another was threatened but still standing in a compromised state at the J.C. Keith Lake, affecting the surrounding Rayconda neighborhood in Fayetteville. Here workers rebuild the upper dam on Siple Avenue while residents use the precarious lower dam on Oct. 19.
Several dams failed following the flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew. One dam was washed away and another was threatened but still standing in a compromised state at the J.C. Keith Lake, affecting the surrounding Rayconda neighborhood in Fayetteville. Here workers rebuild the upper dam on Siple Avenue while residents use the precarious lower dam on Oct. 19. N&O

Hurricane Matthew and the flooding that followed it caused an estimated $2 billion in economic damage to North Carolina, Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration reported Monday.

That is the first estimate of the size of the losses in the state from the slow-moving storm that hit on Oct. 8. It comes on the day that the state submitted a request for more than $1 billion in federal disaster recovery aid, and asked that the federal government pick up a larger share of the costs.

Gov. Pat McCrory, in a letter to the state’s congressional delegation, asked for their help in securing the funding. Monday was the first day Congress has been in session since Sept. 30. McCrory has said he will call the General Assembly back into session in early December to authorize additional state money to be spent on recovery efforts. The legislature isn’t scheduled to convene until mid-January.

“Although we have made wise investments to our rainy day fund since 2013, no amount of planning could have prepared us for the sheer scale and devastating nature of the disasters we have encountered since late September,” McCrory said in a statement, referring to flood, wildfires and drought.

The state wants to be responsible for matching or reimbursing the federal government with 10 percent of the total cost rather than the 25 percent that is common.

No amount of planning could have prepared us for the sheer scale and devastating nature of the disasters we have encountered since late SeptemberGov. Pat McCrory

Here’s how the money would be spent:

▪ $811 million in grants to pay for housing, water and sewer, utility infrastructure, jobs and agriculture. Housing funds would replace damaged and destroyed property and develop long-term storm damage prevention through retrofitting, repair and elevating buildings.

▪ $40 million for the Army Corps of Engineers to restore navigation channels.

▪ $42 million to repair 65 dams in risk of failing.

▪ $22 million in emergency funding from the Federal Highway Administration for damaged roads as part of an estimated $121 million that will be needed.

▪ $69 million to fix damaged farm roads and fences and remove debris.

▪ $46 million in watershed protection funding is estimated by the state agriculture officials.

The governor’s disaster recovery committee will hold its first regional meeting on Tuesday in Robeson County. It is charged with getting people back into their homes, helping small businesses restart and exploring the best ways to make flood-prone communities more resilient.

Craig Jarvis: 919-829-4576, @CraigJ_NandO

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