Mid-Atlantic
A bill passed by the state House of Representatives last week could provide funds for resilience planning to help towns avoid repeats of floods like this one during Hurricane Dorian in Atlantic Beach. (Mike Shutak photo)

North Carolina General Assembly could pass comprehensive storm recovery bill

BEAUFORT — State lawmakers are in the process of considering a bill that, if approved, would earmark more than $200 million for disaster recovery from every major named storm since 2016. These include hurricanes Matthew, Florence, Dorian and Tropical Storm Michael.

Wednesday night, House lawmakers passed an engrossed version of House Bill 1023 to the Senate for consideration. An engrossed bill means a bill that includes various amendments tacked on during the voting process. Thursday, the Senate passed a bill with different language and some provisions added or deleted, and both chambers appointed a committee to work out the differences after an adjournment until Nov. 13.

First filed on Oct. 22, the House bill earmarks $280 million in funding for storm-related recovery of last year’s Hurricane Florence, 2016’s Hurricane Matthew and this year’s Hurricane Dorian.

The bill breaks down the $280 million for a number of projects.

For example, $38,173,258 is earmarked for the State Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Fund. Of that $38 million, $11,197,013 will go toward providing the state’s match for federal funds relating to disaster assistance programs that focus on Hurricane Matthew.

The allocation will also provide $17,800,000 to cover the state’s match for federal disaster recovery assistance from Hurricane Dorian, “as well as similar state assistance programs that may supplement federal assistance or cover housing repairs and rehabilitation for those who may not qualify for federal assistance” reads a portion of the bill.

An additional $5 million is earmarked “to ensure that sufficient funds are available to provide relief and assistance for Hurricane Dorian, recent storms, and future emergencies,” reads the bill.

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