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50 More Homeowners to Get Grants to Recover from Matthew State Awards Mitigation Grants to Get Matthew Survivors Into More Resilient Homes

Flooded home during Hurricane Matthew

NC Emergency Management today notified officials in Edgecombe County and the city of Fayetteville that they will soon receive $8.2 million in federal and state funds to acquire 50 homes damaged by Hurricane Matthew. 

“This is good news for homeowners and communities working to recover from Hurricane Matthew and rebuild stronger and better to withstand future storms,” said state Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry.

This HMGP award will be used to purchase 24 flood-damaged homes along the Tar River in Edgecombe County and another 26 repeatedly flooded properties in Fayetteville. Once the structures have been acquired, demolished and removed, the space will remain open and will not be rebuilt to prevent future flooding at the site.

This week’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program award includes $4,363,624 for Edgecombe County and $3,863,806 for the city of Fayetteville.  It follows an award of $2.2 million to assist 15 homeowners in Fayetteville and Camden announced in late April. 

The federal program uses a combination of federal and state funds to elevate, reconstruct or buy-out qualified homeowners whose home is at risk of repeated damage from flooding.  Following major disasters, a percentage of total federal recovery funds is designated to develop more resilient communities using one of the approved methods.  North Carolina is designated as  an Enhanced Hazard Mitigation state based on its thorough plan and program history, meaning a larger portion of the program is paid for by federal funds. That enhanced status, which was renewed by FEMA last week, translated into an additional $25 million to help 210 more homeowners following Hurricane Matthew. 

This program has proven its value repeatedly, helping protect homeowners from additional disasters. “More than 4,000 North Carolina homeowners and properties have benefited from this program over the past 20 years, helping North Carolina avoid another $118 million in losses after Hurricane Matthew,” Sprayberry noted. 

More than 3,000 homeowners applied for the HMGP funding in the months after Matthew, ten times the typical number as compared to similar disasters. 

“Our state and local emergency managers worked together tirelessly to process and evaluate each application in record time to expedite the funding process as much as possible,” said Resiliency Chief Nick Burk.  As a comparison, it took staff 18 months to evaluate 300 applications after Hurricane Irene in 2011.

Now that FEMA has approved the projects, the state can enter into the required project agreements with the receiving county and city and discuss program requirements. It is then up to each jurisdiction to select contractors and begin the actual demolition work. The city or county will distribute the grant funds to the homeowner and will then be reimbursed by NCEM.

NC Emergency Management submitted to FEMA 65 different project applications representing nearly 800 different properties. Following federal guidelines, separate applications were written for each different type of mitigation project within each jurisdiction.  NCEM supported local governments by writing each grant application on their behalf. 

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