News

Hurricane Matthew damage forgotten in Washington as Harvey, Irma take their toll

In her column today, Susan Ladd of the News & Record in Greensboro takes a look at the poor federal response to Hurricane Matthew’s impact on North Carolina even as Texas struggles to recover from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma bears down on the East Coast.

From the column:

On Saturday, President Donald Trump promised the people of Texas that getting relief funds “hopefully” would be a quick process and tweeted, “We are with you today, we are with you tomorrow, and we will be with you EVERY SINGLE DAY AFTER, to restore, recover, and REBUILD!”

Yeah. About that.

Nearly a year after Hurricane Matthew, which caused rivers in North Carolina to rise even higher than Hurricane Floyd (dubbed the “Flood of the Century” in 1999), the state has been shortchanged and seemingly forgotten.

Matthew killed 26 North Carolinians and damaged 100,000 homes, businesses and government buildings. Property damage alone was estimated at $1.5 billion. The hurricane also destroyed a dam and damaged more than 600 roads, temporarily closing our major East Coast arteries of I-95 and I-40.

Congress initially appropriated $330 million to the state for disaster recovery, and HUD provided another $198.5 million in December. Needs still unmet include property buyouts, agricultural and small-business losses, damage to public infrastructure and facilities, and repairs to homes, health care facilities, child-care centers and social services agencies.

Gov. Roy Cooper worked with Sen. Thom Tillis (R) and House members from both parties to submit an additional request for aid in April. Of that $929 million request, the Trump administration approved $6.1 million, about 1 percent.

As these very real and necessary repairs went unfunded, Trump expressed his willingness to shut down the government if Congress fails to fund his border wall — a project of pure political vanity.

Even as Hurricane Irma threatens, some North Carolinians are still living in hotels and other temporary housing as a result of Matthew.

 

Read the whole thing.

Check Also

New Elon Poll looks at NC views on opioid crisis

If you’ve followed NC Policy Watch’s ongoing coverage ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

The controversy over “Silent Sam,” the Confederate monument on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus, has been ra [...]

North Carolina tries to mine its swine and deal with a poop problem that keeps piling up A blanket o [...]

This story is part of "Peak Pig," an examination of the hog industry co-published with Env [...]

Few issues in the North Carolina’s contentious policy wars have been more consistently front and cen [...]

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a jaw-dropping civil rights lawsuit again [...]

Will Burr and Tillis really vote for this? For much of the 20th Century, one of the labels that Amer [...]

President Trump and Congressional Republicans aim to rebrand enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest ho [...]

20—number of years since a bipartisan coalition in Congress passed the Children’s Health Insurance P [...]

Spotlight on Journalism

We invite you to join a special celebration of investigative journalism! The evening will feature Mike Rezendes, a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe Spotlight Team known for their coverage of the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Tickets available NOW!

Spotlight On Journalism

This event will benefit NC Policy Watch, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. Sponsorship opportunities available now!

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more