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State seeks input on Matthew recovery

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Rocky Mount Telegram

Friday, January 11, 2019

The state is looking for public comments on recovery plans related to Hurricane Matthew, which devastated portions of eastern North Carolina two years ago.

The state Division of Emergency Management has opened a public comment period for Action Plan Amendment 3 to the state’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Action Plan related to Hurricane Matthew recovery.

Matthew hovered over eastern North Carolina in mid-October 2016, dumping 14 inches of rain. Flash flooding occurred all over Pitt and Edgecombe counties during the storm. The worst came after the storm as creeks flooded causing a steep rise in the Tar River.

At the Tarboro Town Bridge, the Tar River crested at 36.2 feet, which was just a few inches shy of the historic record set after Hurricane Floyd in 1999 of nearly 42 feet.

Preliminary estimates from state Emergency Management was $50 million in damage to residential buildings and $25 million to non-residential structures.

The N.C. Cooperative Extension reported $33 million in crop losses and $3 million in agriculture-related infrastructure and equipment in Edgecombe County alone, according to information from county staff.

In total, 15 eastern North Carolina counties were severely affected with damaged houses and flooded businesses.

The state is soliciting input on the proposed changes to better define the ReBuild North Carolina program’s processes and accelerate the state’s recovery efforts.

ReBuild NC is the state's program for Hurricane Matthew housing recovery assistance. The state has been allocated more than $236 million to date in CDBG-DR funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for long-term housing recovery.

Eligible homeowners can receive funds for housing repairs, homeowner reimbursement for work that has already been completed or funding for other housing-related issues due to damage from Hurricane Matthew.

For more information, including program eligibility requirements and details on the application process, visit rebuild.nc.gov.

The public comment period will remain open for 14 days following publication of Action Plan Amendment 3 until 11:59 p.m. Jan. 18. The plan can be viewed online at the ReBuild NC program website, rebuild.nc.gov/action-plans.

Comments also can be submitted by contacting Iris Payne at the state Commerce Department by calling 919-814-4663 or emailing ipayne@nccommerce.com.

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