Local News

Disaster Recovery Funds Arrive for Fran Victims

Posted August 19, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Almost a year after the fact, North Carolina communities hardest hit by Hurricane Fran last year are getting a big financial boost.

HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo delivered a check for $35.7 million for disaster recovery Tuesday. Federal Emergency funds from FEMA helped with the initial recovery last fall. This Housing and Urban Development grant is intended to help bring about long term recovery, such as making homes more flood proof, or even relocating some homes located in high risk areas.

North Carolina received the second highest disaster funds grant. Victims of the Red River floods in the Midwest received the most money.

No one is saying the new Federal money won't undo the damage done by Fran, but it may help save some people and property next time.

For storm victims this new money may be a life, or house, saver.

Onelia Foxwell remembers well what it was like in the Rochester Heights neighborhood the morning after Hurricane Fran hit. A tributary of Walnut Creek runs behind, and sometimes through, her house. She says they were rescued by people in canoes.

Foxwell says the creek needs to be dug out and Raleigh's city council has heard that plea from many Rochester Heights residents. Now council has money that could finally address the problem.

Raleigh's portion of the big check is $3 million. Cuomo has a suggestion for some of that money.

Foxwell was overjoyed when she found out she would be getting some of that relocation money.

Given the choice of making her home flood proof or relocating, Foxwell said she'd opt for relocation after all she's been through.

City and county leaders must now make decisions about where and how to spend the federal grant money.

Reporter/Photographer:Rick Armstrong