State will seek more aid for Irene cleanup
Posted October 6, 2011 12:18 p.m. EDT
Updated October 6, 2011 6:58 p.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Bev Perdue's point man on Hurricane Irene recovery in North Carolina says the administration will soon formally ask the state legislature for additional money for the cleanup.
Former Congressman Bob Etheridge said Thursday his office will have a better idea of the dollar amount needed once they get more detailed figures about emergency assistance at the end of this month. The General Assembly is scheduled to meet Nov. 7. Etheridge says he plans to have a request ready then for additional state money to cover needs FEMA won't meet.
The Division of Emergency Management says North Carolina is already on the hook for about $29 million for the state's share of financial assistance for individuals, businesses and local governments. The governor has the power to appropriate the match money.
But any additional funds will have to be approved by state lawmakers. They could tap into a reserve fund designed for emergencies that currently has nearly $300 million.
State Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin was touring hurricane-hit areas Thursday and Friday to open assistance centers for those who have not been satisfied with the service they are getting from their insurers.
“I have been in direct contact with insurance companies and the National Flood Insurance Program to put pressure on them to do what’s right for policyholders,” Goodwin said Thursday.
At three locations, people with insurance questions or complaints can meet with representatives from the Department of Insurance and the National Flood Insurance Program in person.
Assistance centers are open Monday and Tuesday in New Bern at the regional office of the Department of Insurance, 1316 Unit A, Commerce Drive, Tuesday in Manteo at the Dare County offices at 954 Marshall Collins Drive and Wednesday on Hatteras Island at a location still to be determined.
The DOI is also taking questions by phone at 800-546-5664 or 919-807-6750.
“If you have a question or complaint about your claim, we need to hear from you,” Goodwin said. “The more specific information we have from you, the more we may be able to help.”