State Politics

Hurricane Matthew’s hardest-hit counties see new relief funds

Hurricane Matthew: The Aftermath

Watch dramatic drone video capturing the aftermath of flooding from Hurricane Matthew and the impact on eastern North Carolina.
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Watch dramatic drone video capturing the aftermath of flooding from Hurricane Matthew and the impact on eastern North Carolina.

Nearly $200 million in federal disaster relief has arrived to help Eastern North Carolina recover from Hurricane Matthew damage.

Most of that money — close to $159 million — will go to Robeson, Cumberland, Edgecombe and Wayne counties, according to an announcement from Gov. Roy Cooper’s office. The remaining $39 million will be used in the other 46 counties that have been designated as disaster areas.

Last week a $4.5 million federal grant was awarded the state to help disaster victims connect with trained case managers who will guide them through the bureaucracy of getting state and federal assistance. In December, the General Assembly authorized about $200 million in state funds, which is meant to help displaced people find housing, in addition to providing cleanup, repair, small-business loans and aid for local government.

State lawmakers have said they intend to allocate more state money this year. The amount will depend on how much the federal government chips in.

The latest federal funding is part of more than $300 million in aid to North Carolina that Congress authorized in December. Sen. Thom Tillis and the rest of North Carolina’s delegation in Congress secured that allocation.

“While this federal funding will undoubtedly help many North Carolina families, the recovery will still be a long and tough process,” Tillis said in a statement his office released Thursday. “I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and state leaders to ensure North Carolina has the resources it needs to become whole again.”

“Hurricane Matthew hit us hard, but North Carolinians are resilient,” Cooper said in a statement announcing the latest funding. “These funds will give families and communities resources to repair homes, rebuild streets and get back to work.”

The $200 million that was received this week is from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development block grant program.

So far, more than 81,000 households have registered for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance, according to the governor’s office.

Craig Jarvis: 919-829-4576, @CraigJ_NandO

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