99 percent of Hurricane Matthew aid requested by NC denied by Trump administration

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The State of North Carolina requested $929 million from the federal government to help with costs associated with Hurricane Matthew, but the state will be receiving far less than that, according to an announcement by Gov. Roy Cooper.


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North Carolina will receive only $6.1 million from the Trump administration. That’s 99 percent less than the requested amount.

In a letter Cooper sent to the president and other officials today, he expressed “shock and disappointment in the lack of federal funding for Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts.”

The governor had worked with Sen. Thom Tillis and Representatives David Price (D) and Rep. David Rouzer (R) in April to come up with a request to Congress to help cover the costs associated with the destruction left by Matthew.

The $929 million requested would have been used to “help communities and families fix homes, repair businesses and recover from the historic flooding,” Cooper said.


“Families across Eastern North Carolina need help to rebuild and recover, and it is an incredible failure by the Trump Administration and Congressional leaders to turn their backs,” said Cooper said in a statement released to the press. “Matthew was a historic storm and we are still working every day to help families return home and rebuild their communities. North Carolinians affected by this storm cannot be ignored by the Trump Administration and Congressional leadership, and I will continue to work with our Congressional delegation to get North Carolina residents affected by the storm the help they deserve.”


The press release from Cooper’s office included a summary of the requests made of the federal government.

Summary of North Carolina’s federal unmet needs request:

  • Housing Repairs: $166.6 million to help homeowners with repairs, $63.7 million to repair rental housing, and $15.2 million to repair public housing
  • Housing Elevation: $434 million for buyout, elevation and reconstruction of 3,962 properties that flooded during Matthew and are at risk for future flooding
  • Agriculture: $92.6 million to cover losses for farmers not covered by the USDA such as livestock, farm equipment, and feed
  • Public Facilities: $43 million to repair public facilities and retrofit infrastructure like storm drains and sewer lines to prevent future damage
  • Small Businesses: $39 million to help 691 small businesses
  • Health: $37 million to support health and mental health services for storm survivors and to help with repairs to health care facilities, child care centers, and social services agencies

The governor invited the president and other federal officials to come to the state and tour the damage.

“I…invite you to visit North Carolina and see the devastating impacts of this disaster first hand,” he wrote in the letter. “Our citizens and communities are struggling, and will only be able to make a full recovery with the aid of much needed federal assistance.”

A spokesman for Sen. Richard Burr released a statement that read:

“The bipartisan North Carolina congressional delegation worked to secure more than $300 million in federal assistance for Hurricane Matthew and is committed to making sure the people of North Carolina have the resources they need for hurricane recovery. Hurricane recovery has always been and should continue to be above partisan finger pointing. Senator Burr encourages both Democrat and Republican leaders to work together to ensure that those suffering as a result of a natural disaster get the support they need.”

Rep. G.K Butterfield’s (D) office also released a statement in which he expressed disappointment in the decision. Butterfield represents some of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew:

Eastern North Carolina recently suffered one of the worst hurricane seasons in its history. The torrential rains of Tropical Storm Julia were closely followed by the devastating floods of Hurricane Matthew that caused widespread damage and destroyed the homes, businesses, and communities of hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians. Today, too many communities in North Carolina are still struggling to recover and rebuild.

In our efforts to recover from Hurricane Matthew, I agree with Governor Cooper that Congress has a vital role to play. I am disappointed with the amount of funding Congress recently approved for the state’s recovery, but I will continue to work with Governor Cooper and my colleagues in the North Carolina Congressional Delegation to secure the additional federal assistance that is necessary to meet the recovery needs of North Carolinians.”

Wednesday on Fayetteville’s Sessom Street, Habitat for Humanity volunteers worked on rebuilding Joanna Quick’s mother’s home.

Quick and her mother escaped severe flooding during Matthew.

“The people who are making the decisions need to come out to the communities, needs to come out to the neighborhoods, and see the families what they’re going through and speak to them to know their situations and understand that, yes, it’s been a long time, but assistance is still needed,” Quick said.

A HUD spokesman told CBS North Carolina the department analyzes unmet needs across the country and allocates available funds proportionately.

North Carolina got $198.5 million from HUD for Hurricane Matthew relief in December.

HUD also said a lot of money has gone to other states also devastated by flooding – including Louisiana.

Both North Carolina senators tell CBS North Carolina that, since the storm, the congressional delegation has worked to secure more than $300 million in disaster funding for the state.

Republican Rep. George Holding’s office released a statement saying that members of both parties from the state are working to get more funding from the federal government:

Last year, after Hurricane Matthew, Congress appropriated over $330 million in disaster relief for North Carolina. In addition to that, North Carolina also received hundreds of millions more in disaster relief from federal agencies.

Working with Governor Cooper, our United States Senators and Congressmen – in districts hurt by the hurricane – requested an additional $929 million in hurricane relief funding. Governor Cooper is correct that only $6.1 million of that funding has been approved.

North Carolina’s Senators and Congressmen – both Democrats and Republicans – are working together to obtain additional hurricane relief.”

You can read Cooper’s letter to the administration here.

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