Friday, July 20, 2018

Eleven Pender County Homeowners to Receive Buyouts for Properties Flooded by Hurricane Matthew Fire department in Mitchell County receives grant to move out of floodplain

Jul 20, 2018

Eleven Pender County homeowners flooded by Hurricane Matthew will receive nearly $1.6 million in federal and state funds to buyout their storm damaged homes and move elsewhere, North Carolina Emergency Management announced today.

“This funding will help 11 Pender County families flooded by the Cape Fear River and local streams relocate to homes outside the floodplain, and will create public open space where their homes were,” said state Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. 

Today’s announcement of $1,582,426 for 11 Pender County residential properties brings the total of Hazard Mitigation Grants awarded in North Carolina after Hurricane Matthew to $81.5 million for 639 properties.  

Today’s awards also include $272,908 to acquire and demolish the station of the Bradshaw Volunteer Fire Department in the Mitchell County town of Bakersville. The fire station sits in the special flood hazard area along the North Toe River. The fire department has already acquired property outside the floodplain and will construct a new station with the funds.

Now that these projects are FEMA approved and funded, the state can enter into the required project agreements with the receiving counties and towns and discuss program requirements. It is then up to each local government 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 North Carolina Emergency Management.

State emergency management officials anticipate approximately $115 million total in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) grants will be awarded in North Carolina by early August to help Matthew survivors get into more flood-resistant homes. 

The federal program uses a combination of federal and state funds to elevate, reconstruct or buyout 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 earned the status of 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 FEMA renewed in May, 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 mitigation measures during the past 20 years. 

In the months after Hurricane Matthew, NC Emergency Management staff evaluated more than 3,000 applications from homeowners for HMGP funding, 10 times the typical number as compared to similar disasters. As a comparison, it took staff 18 months to evaluate 300 applications after Hurricane Irene in 2011.

NCEM staff then submitted applications to FEMA to either acquire, elevate or reconstruct nearly 800 different properties damaged by Hurricane Matthew. NCEM supported local governments by writing each grant application on their behalf.