Thursday - December 13, 2018
Cooper Focuses On Storm Recovery
Written by Bruce Ferrell   
Monday, 30 January 2017 15:11

FAYETTEVILLE -- Governor Roy Cooper  met with Fayetteville and Cumberland County leaders to discuss how to best help families and communities recover from Hurricane Matthew.

Cooper was joined by Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks, NC Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry, and city and county officials. The discussion focused on the progress made so far and continuing needs for hard-hit areas.

"Help is on the way for storm survivors and we're here to pull together to get the job done," Cooper said in a press release issued after the meetings.  "We need to use this opportunity to rebuild smart and strong for the future of our communities, businesses and schools."

Cooper said more than a thousand families remain in hotels nearly four months after the storm dumped record rainfall in many communities, down from a peak of 1,900 families. Approximately 200 families in Cumberland County are still displaced from their homes and living in hotels through a FEMA program for temporary shelter.

Tomorrow state Emergency Management leaders will meet with some 30 state and federal partners to consider innovative approaches to the housing crisis caused by Hurricane Matthew.

"Families whose lives were upended by Hurricane Matthew need a safe place to live while they get back on their feet,"said Cooper. “This is a complex problem and it will take creative ideas to solve it.”

Half of the state has been approved for federal funding assistance to help individuals and small business owners recover and rebuild. Already, more than 81,600 households have registered with FEMA requesting financial help. So far, FEMA has awarded $90 million in grants and the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved $86 million in low-interest loans to help people rebuild their homes and businesses, get back to work and move on with their lives.

In the past two weeks, the governor has announced separate grants totaling more than $200 million to further recovery efforts. A $4.5 million grant will pair case managers with some of the hardest-hit survivors to help them navigate the long and often complicated recovery process. Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the state $198 million with $159 million of that specifically earmarked for Cumberland, Robeson, Edgecombe and Wayne counties – to help with housing, economic development, infrastructure and mitigation efforts that prevent future storm damage.

Three Disaster Recovery Centers remain open through Thursday to help survivors with their cases, including one in Fayetteville that Cooper visited Monday.

Cooper also toured a neighborhood where Habitat for Humanity homes devastated by the storm are being rehabilitated

“Storm survivors are getting help from state and local leaders, nonprofits and faith communities, and countless volunteers," Cooper said. "There's much work ahead of us but also signs of progress and hope, like this project.”






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