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NC asks for $900M in flood relief, feds give $6.1M, Cooper says

Posted May 10, 2017 9:47 a.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 2:04 p.m. EDT

— North Carolina asked the federal government for $900 million to help relieve parts of the state ravaged by Hurricane Matthew flood waters, but the government only offered $6.1 million, Gov. Roy Cooper said in a news conference on Wednesday.

The $6 million of relief money is less than 1 percent of what the state asked for.

"I am deeply disappointed that Washington isn’t making North Carolina’s urgent need a top priority," the governor said.

"Matthew did an estimated $4.8 billion in damages to 50 counties in North Carolina," Cooper said during a news conference about the state's preparations for hurricane season. "That’s half of our entire state.”

Earl Nail is one of those still struggling. Seven months after Matthew, the Vietnam veteran is still waiting on the bulk of the federal funds he’s been promised to help rebuild his life.

"A lot of people still suffering," Nail said. "I haven’t got paid yet, but yet I hear billions and millions to send overseas and doing this and doing that, billions for building walls. Come on, man, you know how many people are out there suffering."

In a letter to Congress, Cooper asked for what he calls a "conservative" $930 million to help families rebuild homes, repair businesses and recover from the flooding that inundated North Carolina after the October hurricane.

“Matthew was a historic storm, and we are still working every day to help families return home and rebuild their communities," Cooper said. "North Carolinians affected by this storm cannot be ignored by the Trump administration and Congressional leadership, and I will continue to work with our Congressional delegation to get North Carolina residents affected by the storm the help they deserve.”

Rep. Robert Pittenger, (NC-9), who represents Robeson, Cumberland and Bladen counties, says he never heard from the governor about the request.

He and other lawmakers point to millions already given to the state. In December, Congress passed a resolution that provided more than $300 million, Sen. Thom Tillis' office said.

Princeville flooding

Cooper said he invited President Donald Trump and Congressional leaders to North Carolina to tour the affected areas where the needs include:

Housing Repairs: $166.6 million to help homeowners with repairs, $63.7 million to repair rental housing, and $15.2 million to repair public housing

Housing Elevation: $434 million for buyout, elevation and reconstruction of 3,962 properties that flooded during Matthew and are at risk for future flooding

Agriculture: $92.6 million to cover losses for farmers not covered by the USDA such as livestock, farm equipment, and feed

Public Facilities: $43 million to repair public facilities and retrofit infrastructure like storm drains and sewer lines to prevent future damage

Small Businesses: $39 million to help 691 small businesses

Health: $37 million to support health and mental health services for storm survivors and to help with repairs to health care facilities, child care centers, and social services agencies