Connecting state and local government leaders
The October storm caused about $2 billion in damage in the state, according to initial estimates.
To help cover the cost of Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is seeking over $1 billion in federal aid.
McCrory submitted a formal request on Monday to North Carolina’s congressional delegation for $1,028,932,144 in federal assistance. Initial estimates show Hurricane Matthew caused $2 billion in economic damage to the state, according to the governor’s office.
The storm struck in October, setting new rainfall records in 17 North Carolina counties and causing severe flooding. Parts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina were affected as well. Matthew also devastated the Caribbean nation of Haiti, causing hundreds of deaths.
In North Carolina, state assessments have determined that 78,757 residential buildings were damaged or destroyed, with costs totalling roughly $777 million. Farmers also took a hit, with preliminary estimates showing $400 million in storm-related crop losses.
Of the money the governor is requesting, $810,654,000 would be in the form of disaster recovery community development block grants. McCrory’s aid request says that among the costs the block grants would cover are projects and programs meant to make housing and infrastructure more resilient during extreme weather events like Matthew.
The request for federal assistance comes as McCrory, a Republican, remains locked in a reelection fight for a second term as governor about a week after Election Day.
Democratic challenger, Attorney General Roy Cooper, leads McCrory by a margin of 4,984 votes, according to an unofficial vote count. McCrory’s team is preparing for a legal battle over the results, and has suggested there were irregularities with voting.
In the parts of western North Carolina, meanwhile, wildfires continued to burn on Monday. Nearly 40,000 acres have been scorched by 19 significant fires since Oct. 23, according to the governor’s office, resulting in estimated costs of over $10 million.
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Bill Lucia is a reporter for Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.