Published: 2016-10-19 17:54:00
Updated: 2016-10-19 18:13:35
Posted October 19
Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday announced the creation of the Hurricane Matthew Recovery Committee to help the state of North Carolina rebuild following the deadly Oct. 8 storm.
In an afternoon press conference, McCrory said the committee will be chaired by his chief of staff, Thomas Stith, in conjunction with Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry, and will include representatives from the utility, business and agricultural communities.
“These leaders have a reputation for getting things done and will provide guidance in our recovery efforts,” McCrory explained. “This is the best of North Carolina; people wanting to step up and help from across the state.”
During the address, McCrory outlined the top five priorities in the recovery effort going forward.
He asked all citizens to help raise money through the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund to help rebuild and provide permanent housing for those whose homes were lost or severely damaged by the storm.
“Many of those who lost the most could least afford this terrible disaster,” he said.
He said recovery efforts need to focus on reopening and rebuilding the more than 500 roads that remain closed or are operating with lane restrictions, as well as repairing bridges, rail lines and water lines as quickly and safely as possible.
McCrory said comprehensive strategies need to be implemented to rebuild sustainable towns and communities that are better prepared for flooding and the financial damage done by the storm, especially to the agricultural community, small businesses and commercial fishermen, must be assessed so a long-term economic recovery plan can be developed.
Lastly, McCrory said a plan will need to be put in place for any legislative action required to provide additional relief for businesses and individuals.
As more than 1,000 people remain in shelters across the state, McCrory said that $21.9 million in federal funding has been provided for individual assistance. He said that disaster unemployment assistance for those who lost their jobs as a result of the storm and disaster food assistance have already been implemented in affected counties. The tax filing deadline has been extended and the late penalty has been waved in affected counties.
McCrory said that he has also signed an executive order to provide flexibility with the school calendar for districts that were forced to close, some for more than a week, as a result of the storm. He requested that school boards refrain from rescheduling any missed school days until legislative action can be taken.