The State of North Carolina and FEMA have approved a hazard mitigation project grant of $7,204,669 to improve disaster resilience in the city of Lumberton in Robeson County. The funding for this grant became available after the damage caused by Hurricane Florence in 2018.
The money will be used to pay for the purchase and demolition of 50 homes in Lumberton that have been repeatedly flooded over the years. Located in a Special Flood Hazard Area, removing these structures and converting the parcels to open space will allow natural floodplain functions. It will also allow the homeowners to relocate and eliminate the risk they faced in the floodplain.
“The recent announcement by FEMA, that Lumberton has been awarded $7.2 million in housing assistance funding, to acquire 50 properties in flood prone areas, is welcomed news,” said City of Lumberton Mayor, Bruce W. Davis.
“The property owners who will benefit from this program have been impacted by two major hurricanes, Matthew in 2016 and Florence in 2018. These events have disrupted their lives, while causing extensive damage to their property. Acquiring these properties will allow homeowners to locate outside the flood areas in a safe environment and is not adversely affected by extreme weather conditions. We appreciate the financial support we have received from FEMA and NC Emergency Management that has made the recovery from Hurricanes Matthew and Florence possible.”
“The State appreciates the continued partnership in assisting all homeowners across the State, especially those impacted so hard by Hurricane Florence. It is always good to provide residents with an opportunity to move out of harm’s way and save lives and money over the long-term through this process,” said Steve McGugan, State Hazard Mitigation Officer.
FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds projects that create long-term solutions to reduce risks from repetitive hazards. A recent study by the National Institute of Building Sciences found that for every dollar spent on federal mitigation, taxpayers save six dollars.
FEMA reimburses 75 percent of eligible project costs and the remaining 25 percent is covered by the state. FEMA’s cost share for this project is $5,403,502 while the state will cover $1,801,167.
The federal share is reimbursed to the state which disburses the funds to the local government.