Millions of dollars of Florence recovery funds to be dispersed soon

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Lawmakers say money should soon be getting into the hands of Hurricane Florence victims now that Governor Roy Cooper has signed an $850 million Florence Emergency Response bill into law.
“I appreciate legislators responding quickly and taking this initial step to help North Carolinian recover from this devastating storm, particularly in the areas of education and the federal match. However, we must continue to work together to provide more for affordable housing and farmers as well as to make real investments to ensure clean water and to lessen the impacts of future storms on our homes, roads, businesses and water infrastructure,” said Cooper.
Some of the allocations include:

  • $60 million to public schools
  • $50 million for agriculture recovery
  • $30 million to impacted universities (UNC Pembroke, UNC Wilmington, Fayetteville State)
  • $28 million for disaster housing recovery support
  • $20 million to fix local government infrastructure
  • $5 million for small business recovery loans
  • $2 million to mosquito abatement
  • $2 million for assessment of coastal communities and dredging needs

Lawmakers are trying not to rebuild in areas where it will flood again.

“I think we’re trying to be prudent with money but also cognizant of the individual’s property rights as well,” said Appropriations Senior Chairman Rep. Nelson Dollar of Wake County.

“While it’s impossible to undo what was done, this bill will help,” said Appropriations Chair Sen. Brent Jackson of Duplin, Johnston and Sampson counties.

Most of the funds for the emergency spending plan came from the state’s rainy-day fund. The state has about $2 billion sitting in that account.

“There will be no tax increases and no disruptions, from budgetary perspective, for any of our existing important programs,” said Dollar.

State leaders are expecting to receive more money from the federal government.

“We are looking forward in November to continuing to work on the important areas that need to be further addressed,” said Dollar.

When Florence crashed the coast a month ago, it paused and soaked the state and caused unprecedented flooding and widespread damage. Roads were ripped up and homes and buildings were destroyed.

More than 800,000 people also lost power during the storm and 31 people were killed.

Twenty-eight of the state’s counties have been declared a major disaster by the President.

The state estimates the storm caused $13 billion in damage.

You can read the full legislations here.

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