PRINCEVILLE — Relief money continues to add up for Hurricane Floyd victims. Soon, there will be a plan to distribute it.
The federal government has already pitched in $2.2 billion, theGeneral Assemblyapproved $826 million, and theGovernor's Relief Fundis up to $18 million in donations. Now, the Clinton administration wants to add another $243 million dollars from the next budget.
In some cases, the money is already there, but hardly any of the state money has been paid. State officials are working frantically to get money into the hands of victims by later this month.
Lucretia Wooten will not be going back to her Princeville neighborhood. With the help of church volunteers and a littleFEMAmoney, she is moving into another home next month.
But cash is tight, and she wonders when all that government assistance she keeps hearing about will get to the people who need it.
"Being a skeptic myself, sometimes I wonder, but then I also know that this is still in God's hands. So, in His time, He'll release it," says Wooten.
That could be soon. The state is holding severalregional meetingsin the next two weeks to tell flood victims how the $836 million relief plan works, and to get their input to improve it.
Once everyone has had a chance to talk, the checks will begin going out.
"North Carolina is moving pretty quick, given the magnitude of the disaster that's facing us," says Robert Carver, of theN.C. Redevelopment Center. "So people can expect to see money going out this month."
President Clinton also wants Congress to send another $240 million to North Carolina. The only catch is that if you need help from the feds or the state, you have to register with FEMA to have any chance.
"If you do not register with FEMA, you're not going to get any aid. The state's aid is tied to registration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency," Carver says.
You can get yourself registered with FEMA by calling800-462-9029before theFebruary 17 deadline, which is less than two weeks away.
The deadline has already been extended three times and may not be extended again.