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League Takes Active Role in Hurricane Recovery Efforts 

By Ben Brown, NCLM Advocacy Communication Associate

Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts continue, and the League is serving as a partner on the front line. The League is among the members of the governor’s Hurricane Matthew Recovery Committee, which has held meetings around the state to hear from local leaders and residents.

The League also serves on the Planning and Building Sustainable Communities subcommittee. This group will provide feedback to Gov. Pat McCrory about ways to rebuild communities and infrastructure. Meanwhile, the League and the N.C. Association of County Commissioners have partnered on a series of legislative input sessions to get damage assessments and information on outstanding needs from local officials.

This information will be used to develop recommendations for the recovery package to be presented to the General Assembly when it reconvenes, either in a special session or as part of the 2017 session in January.

The legislative input sessions were held at six locations around the state in November. During a meeting in Elizabeth City, representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency said 70,000 residents had applied for assistance, and that 5,500 National Flood Insurance Program claims totaling $15 million had been made. State officials confirmed that the federal share of disaster response and recovery will be 75 percent, to the state’s 25 percent share, and that 1,300 affected households are currently occupying hotels at a cost $1.2 million per week. Funding for temporary hotel stays has been extended to Jan. 12.

The state also said it will conduct hazard mitigation – buying homes or buildings, or elevating structures to minimize future flood damage. Through these meetings, officials at the different levels of government – local to federal – are working to align their communications and understanding of respective roles for consistency and timeliness.