Hurricane recovery round table gives residents access to more help post-Florence

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Rep. David Rouzer hosted a hurricane recovery round table for hurricane victims Monday night. (Photo: Kylie Jones/WWAY)

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — It’s been almost eight months since Hurricane Florence, but recovery is far from over.

Congressman David Rouzer held a recovery round table Monday night to show residents that there is still help, and lots of residents still need help getting back on their feet.

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Rouzer wants people to have the chance to learn how exactly they can get help.

“Just to know that you need a roof,” Pender County resident Tracy Bennerman said. “It was hard for me to find anybody to do the repairs because they were busy helping people that just didn’t have anything.”

Bennerman still considers herself one of the lucky ones after Florence, but she, like many others still needs help.

“Those of us in elected office have not forgotten about the need that is a direct result of Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Matthew too, for that matter,” Rouzer said. “For those that have been affected by both.”

Officials from recovery groups across the state came out to talk about the area’s progress. Most importantly, organizations were there to talk one on one with victims.

“We are looking at about $20 million of recovery,” said Jennifer Witkowski, who works with the Pender County Long Term Recovery Group. “We are looking at over 3,000 homes that fall under what’s called unmet needs. That means that the people were either having no insurance or not enough insurance to get back to a livable situation.”

Witkowski says these numbers are just sad.

Rouzer hopes this event, along with proposed legislation, will keep pushing recovery.

“In the house this coming week we’re going to have a vote on a disaster recovery bill, which is going to be additional money,” Rouzer said.

Bennerman, like so many others are still picking up the pieces, but she’s here to help everyone else.

“It means a whole lot to me because I don’t like to see people needy,” Bennerman said. “I’m going to support Pender County.”

Pender County Long Term Recovery Group is designed to help people figure out what help they specifically qualify for.