The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has approved North Carolina’s action plan for spending $542 million in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds for Hurricane Florence. The N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) was the first to submit an action plan and receive approval from HUD out of 27 grantees for this federal disaster recovery allocation.
It took 500 days from the date of Florence’s landfall for the federal government to publish the federal register notice that provided the information needed to submit an action plan. During that time, staff at NCORR worked closely with HUD representatives to develop an action plan that would meet all anticipated federal requirements while also serving the recovery needs of storm-impacted communities. This collaboration and preparation allowed NCORR to finalize the draft action plan and open the required public comment period within a few days of the federal register notice’s publication – and submit a plan before any other state.
“Many North Carolina families are still struggling from the devastation caused by Hurricane Florence, and even in the midst of a pandemic we’re the first state in the country to receive approval on a plan to start drawing down these funds. I’m proud of our team working so hard through these challenging times to get people the help they need as quickly as possible,” said Governor Roy Cooper.
Approval of the action plan is a required step in a long technical process that all CDBG-DR grantees must follow. The state must now receive a federal grant agreement from HUD before it can spend the funds to help storm survivors. NCORR has submitted all the required documentation for the grant agreement and is currently awaiting additional action by HUD.
Hurricane Florence made landfall at Wrightsville Beach on Sept. 14, 2018, bringing high winds, 10-foot storm surges and severe flooding due to record-breaking rainfall that exceeded 30 inches in some areas. The storm caused an estimated $22 billion in damages statewide. The storm also resulted in the deaths of 50 North Carolinians.
Governor Cooper established NCORR in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence to streamline disaster recovery programs statewide and help communities rebuild smarter and stronger. The office administers programs that support homeowner recovery, affordable housing, mitigation, buyout, local government grants and loans, and resiliency. Through its ReBuild NC program, NCORR has committed $189.7 million in Hurricane Matthew recovery funds to help storm survivors and remains on pace to administer all funds within federal guidelines. To date, North Carolina has spent more than $3.5 billion in state and federal funding for Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Florence recovery.