'Shock And Disappointment' Over Lack Of Matthew Relief Funding

May 10, 2017

Flooding in the Fayetteville area after Hurricane Matthew
Credit Photo courtesy of Kareen White

Governor Roy Cooper sharply criticized the federal government after it gave North Carolina less than 1 percent of the relief funds sought to assist victims of Hurricane Matthew.

"I write to express shock and disappointment in the lack of federal funding for Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts in North Carolina," Cooper wrote in a letter addressed to President Trump and others. "North Carolina is recovering, but too many people still can't go back to their homes or return to offices, schools, farms, or places of worship."

"I write to express shock and disappointment in the lack of federal funding for Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts in North Carolina" - Gov. Roy Cooper

More than 82,000 households registered for help and North Carolina requested what Cooper called a "conservative" $929 million in federal disaster relief aid.

"When a disaster hits our nation, Congress has in the past heeded the call from elected representatives in the affected regions," Cooper wrote. "I ask that you and the leadership of the US House and US Senate prioritize the economic and humanitarian needs of North Carolina as you prepare your budget recommendations for Congress."

Cooper's office provided a summary of North Carolina’s federal unmet needs request:

  • 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