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Storm recovery focus of new NC legislative panel

Posted May 9, 2011

— Federal and North Carolina emergency officials say they're trying to get the word out about government assistance available to people whose homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed by last month's tornadoes.

Michael Bolch with the Federal Emergency Management Agency told lawmakers about recovery efforts during Monday's first meeting of a joint legislative committee examining whether more needs to be done to help storm victims. The tornadoes killed 24 people and seriously injured more than 130.

"So far I've been very excited to talk to the FEMA directors," said Rep. Mike Stone, who serves Lee County and part of Harnett County. "The good thing about bringing the legislators here today is we'll get more feedback from all those communities to find out where we're going and what the response has been."

According to a report presented to lawmakers at the meeting, the state's greatest loss of life was in Bertie County, where 12 people died.

Wake County's property damage to 2,000 homes and 54 businesses topped other counties, the report stated. 

Bolch said about $6.5 million in grants and low-interest loans have been offered so far to displaced residents and business owners.

Legislators from the hardest-hit areas say they're worried many people are turning away from assistance because they qualify for loans, not grants. Bolch said FEMA can't force anyone to receive assistance.

The committee will also consider whether legislative action is necessary to get relief to victims faster.

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  • imsosorry May 10, 2011

    SUPERMAN- sounds to me like greed, some people lost everything !!Maybe you should buy a new truck if you are having problems instead of just finding a mechanic. These people arent experiencing upkeep problems, they lost the roof over their heads, whole vehicles, clothes, food, and even things that can never be replaced, baby pictures, things that had been left by loved ones who have passed on..... too many things that cant be fixed. I fit this category and hope that I never run into anyone as heartless as you.

  • waterwarrior8 May 9, 2011

    There are few things more appalling than to see bad (I mean really horrible) legislation tied to any tornado/storm relief bills...e.g., H268. Look this House Bill up, people. And then watch WRAL's story tonight about flushing meds down toilets resulting in hormones and heavens knows what else being found in our state's waterways and lakes, and messed up fish.

    What is wrong w/ this picture?

    Dale Swiggett
    Waterfront Sportsman & the Environmental Investigation Coalition

  • bacchianm May 9, 2011

    I just want my insurance to settle my case, It has been three weeks and they keep coming up with excuses why they havent settled, each week is a new excuse. I have never expected or recieved help from the feds and personally I dont want it because they are too intrusive into your personal life if you do apply for and recieve aid, but come on now, 3 weeks is a long time to be deciding on a claim that I have been already been told by my adjuster that my house was totaled. And again superman, look at the end of your own elbow if your house and possibly your livelihood is destroyed in one minute by a tornado, but you know, I am wrong, I would help you out. A car part is a whole lot different than your roof, walls, tools, furniture, food, clothing etc.. be taken away all in a few minutes.

  • Mr. Middle of the Road May 9, 2011

    I guarantee that this legislature will provide a 'tax credit' for storm victim. It is also called invisible welfare.

  • superman May 9, 2011

    Those of you looking for a helping hand should look at the end of your elbow. If you have insurance-- you should be aware that there are thousands of claims they have to process. We all realize that you are "special" but get in line with the rest of the people who have filed claims. You dont deserve taxpayer money for your personal use. I just had to replace my heat pump and the clutch on my truck-guess who had to pay for it? If you need help-- go to the Red Cross or other agencies that help people in need. I just want you to stay out of my pocket-- it isnt any deeper than yours.

  • Nunya123 May 9, 2011

    weasel2 - we just did fire most of them and replaced them with Republicans because we were told by their fanatics that it was the way to go. Guess not. No different then the Dems but people will never learn.

  • wa4dou May 9, 2011

    Another complicating factor is the difference between "can" afford and "will" afford. Given the same exact circumstances, some of us would afford it while others would not. On something as serious as a dwelling, most of us could not afford to "not afford it".

  • Z Man May 9, 2011

    I had big damage and I guarantee I will get no assistance because I have insurance.

    If you didn't have insurance, I say too bad... If you couldn't afford insurance you should have been renting. I'm not paying taxes to subsidize your needs.

  • wa4dou May 9, 2011

    A popular British saying is, "diapers and politicians require frequent replacement for the same reasons". State legislators need to focus on fiscal responsibility, not new ways to spend money. STOP SPENDING !

  • Garnerwolf1 May 9, 2011

    How are these politicians going to pay for this aid? How are they going to pay if we have a bad hurricane this fall? weasel2 may be right, but needs to remember that all who are eligible to vote (whether or not they actually vote) are responsible for those in office. NEVER vote for an incumbent!

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