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State Government
General Assembly To Convene Oct. 2 To Address Florence Recovery PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 25 September 2018 10:18
The North Carolina General Assembly will convene Tuesday, October 2, 2018 to begin considering disaster relief legislation in support of victims of Hurricane Florence.  
 
Lawmakers supported calling the extra session next week to address pressing needs for education communities, provide policy flexibility to storm victims, and prepare for a fourth disaster recovery act since 2016 as well as federal relief funding from the U.S. Congress.
 
State House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said the upcoming session was important to begin work on key reforms and emergency funding packages that state legislators have experience addressing after Hurricane Matthew hit the state in 2016:
 
"The disaster recovery process is familiar to North Carolina lawmakers from both a budgeting and policy standpoint," Moore said, "and we are ready to get to work passing key reforms and preparing funding to accelerate the storm recovery and help victims through this difficult time." 
 
North Carolina has saved a record $2 billion emergency reserve fund for natural and economic disasters.  The state legislature appropriated over $360 million for Hurricane Matthew recovery the last two years.
 
Education leaders in the North Carolina legislature held a press conference with state Superintendent Mark Johnson on Monday to detail proposals that would alleviate concerns among education communities about attendance makeup requirements and income instability for teachers due to missed class time after the storm. 
 
State House and Senate leaders “are working together, both houses and both parties, on a comprehensive disaster relief bill to get the immediate needs addressed,” said House Education Committee co-chair Rep. Craig Horn (R-Union).
 
North Carolina lawmakers continue to work closely with their state’s federal delegation to prepare for a Congressional relief package and clear potential legal and fiscal obstacles to appropriating impending aid.      
 
On Sunday, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Richard Burr (R-NC) applauded the U.S. House for granting their request for a $1.68 billion “down payment” on Hurricane Florence disaster relief in the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill.  The relief includes $1.14 billion for North Carolina and $540 million for South Carolina. 
 
Legislative leaders have expressed support for additional reforms that provide flexibility for storm victims including delaying upcoming small business tax deadlines and adjusting vehicle title replacement policies through the DMV. 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 September 2018 10:20
 
As Floodwaters Recede, State Focuses on Recovery PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 25 September 2018 09:39
The state’s work on Hurricane Florence is shifting from emergency response to recovery, Governor Roy Cooper said. 
 
Thirty five people have died as a result of the hurricane. An 82-year-old male died from suicide in Beaufort County on Saturday after his house was condemned due to flooding.  A 51-year-old female was discovered in a submerged vehicle in Robeson County.
 
Across southeastern North Carolina, seven rivers are currently at major flood stage and three are at moderate flood stage. Additional rain could fall today and tomorrow in some areas.
 
I-40, I-95 Open Through North Carolina 
Interstate 40 reopened today, Governor Cooper announced. One lane remains closed leaving Wilmington, near mile marker 413, due to water on the road. Florence’s floodwaters covered two sections of I-40 (between mile markers 373-385, and 408-414) on September 15. North Carolina Department of Transportation engineers began inspecting the interstate when the flooding started to recede this weekend and brought in contractor crews to immediately begin work on several areas that needed repairs. 
 
Interstate 95 reopened through North Carolina late Sunday evening. 
Also Monday, NCDOT opened U.S. 70 in Kinston to one lane of traffic in both directions, U.S. 74 to Wilmington and NC Ports' terminals in Wilmington and Morehead City resumed full commercial truck operations. 
 
Road closures have dropped to around 400 as of Monday afternoon, down from a high of more than 1,600. NCDOT advises motorists not to travel in the following counties because of flooding and washed out roads and bridges: Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, Jones, Lenoir, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland and southeastern Wayne (south of U.S. 70 Business and east of U.S. 117). For the latest road conditions, visit drivenc.gov.
 
Latest Updates
Storm related power outages in North Carolina are down to around 5,000 from a peak of about 800,000, thanks to ongoing work by utility crews.
 
Statewide, approximately 2,200 people remain in shelters, down from a peak of approximately 20,000. People who may need temporary housing following the storm are encouraged to apply with FEMA.
 
Transitional Sheltering Assistance Become Available
FEMA has approved Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA), a sheltering option that can help fill a gap until survivors identify short or long-term housing solutions. TSA is now available to eligible survivors whose pre-disaster primary residence is in one of the following counties: Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, Columbus, New Haven, Onslow, Pender or Robeson. 
 
Storm survivors who do not have the option to return home and are unable to have their needs met through insurance, congregate shelters, or rental assistance provided by FEMA or another agency (federal, state or voluntary) may be eligible for TSA. Survivors will be notified of their eligibility through an automated phone call, text message, and/or email depending upon the method of communication they selected when they registered with FEMA for assistance.
 
Survivors who have already registered with FEMA and are eligible for TSA will be notified of their eligibility beginning today. To locate participating hotels, visit disasterassistance.gov, scroll down to the Quick Links section, and click on “TSA Hotel Locator.” You can also call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-FEMA or TTY 800-462-7585.
 
Register for disaster assistance
Florence survivors are beginning to take steps to recover from the storm. So far, 78,000 North Carolinians have applied for federal disaster assistance. Nearly $21 million in Individual Assistance grants from FEMA have been approved.
 
 
North Carolinians who suffered damage from Florence are urged to apply for disaster assistance immediately by calling 1-800-621-FEMA or TTY 800-462-7585 to register via telephone or by using the FEMA app or visiting disasterassistance.gov to register online.
 
Survivors with homeowners and/or flood insurance should file claims with their insurance company if they haven’t already done so and should not wait to begin their cleanup and repairs. Take photos of damage and save all receipts for cleanup and repairs. 
 
Disaster Recovery Centers Open
NC Emergncy Management and FEMA are partnering to open Disaster Recovery Centers in hard-hit areas. The centers offer in-person support to individuals and businesses in the counties included in the North Carolina major disaster declaration for Hurricane Florence and the subsequent floods. Recovery specialists from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the state and other organizations will be at the centers to talk about assistance and to help anyone who needs guidance in filing an application.
 
Disaster Recovery Centers are currently open in the following counties, with more centers expected to open in affected areas soon:

 

Onslow County
Next to Don Williamson Nissan
312 Western Blvd.
Jacksonville, NC 28546
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
 
Cumberland County
Cumberland County Social Services Dept.
1225 Ramsey St.
Fayetteville, NC 28301
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
 
Pamlico County
Grantsboro Town Hall
10628 NC Hwy. 55 East
Grantsboro, NC 28529
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
Sunday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
 
Mobile Registration Intake Centers are open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the following locations until further notice:
 
New Hanover County
3500 Oleander Dr. (Old Sears building)
Wilmington, NC 28403-0811
 
Craven County
1 Governmental Ave. (Havelock City Hall)
Havelock, NC 28532-1969
 
Carteret County
3280 Bridges Street (Carteret County Health Department)
Morehead City, NC 28557-3290
 
Donations
The North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund is available for donations to support North Carolina’s response to Hurricane Florence. To donate, visit governor.nc.gov  or text FLORENCE to 20222.
 
 
More Resources
 
The statewide information line can provide callers with nearby shelter, housing and other storm-related details. Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162, or text FLORENCE to 898211. The information line is staffed around the clock to connect North Carolinians to storm resources. Other resources can be obtained by visiting ncdps.gov/florence <http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=38109465&msgid=436709&act=E9NM&c=1346310&destination=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ncdps.gov%2Fflorence>  or following NC Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter. 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 September 2018 09:54
 
I-95 Reopens After Florence Damage PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 24 September 2018 09:51
Interstate 95 through North Carolina is now reopened to all traffic. Floodwaters that covered the interstate following Hurricane Florence receded quicker than expected, allowing the North Carolina Department of Transportation to complete the inspections and repairs needed to reopen the road.
 
“I-95 is a major artery for North Carolina and the entire East Coast that’s essential for commerce,” Governor Roy Cooper said. “Our state DOT crews and engineers have worked around the clock to get this critical interstate open ahead of schedule and reduce traffic in areas still needed for critical life-saving missions.”
 
Engineers began inspecting the road as soon as the flood waters from Hurricane Florence started to recede. They identified an area that needed to be repaired and a contractor was immediately sent to the site and began the repairs this afternoon.  Portions of I-95 have been closed since Sept. 15.
 
“I want to thank our construction partners, the State Highway Patrol, the Division of Motor Vehicles License and Theft Bureau and local officials,” said NCDOT Secretary Jim Trogdon. “They were integral to us successfully managing traffic during the closure and quickly reopening the highway.” 
 
While this is a major step for transportation in the wake of Hurricane Florence, Gov. Cooper cautioned that travel remains treacherous in portions of southeastern North Carolina.
 
“Hundreds of roads across our state remain closed, and flooded and damaged roads remain a danger in many areas. Never drive on flooded roads or around road closure barricades,” Gov. Cooper warned. “The barricades are there for a reason. The roads may be unsafe, underwater or in some areas missin
 
Senate President, House Speaker Ask Cooper For Earlier Special Session To Deal With Florence Recovery PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 24 September 2018 09:27

N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore and state Senate Leader Phil Berger have written to Governor Roy Cooper requesting he accelerate his call for a special legislative session from Tuesday, October 9, 2018 to Friday, September 28, 2018. The special session would deal with the recovery from Hurricane Florence. 

Below is the text of the letter:

 
Dear Governor Cooper:
 
We learned this morning of your request for a special legislative session to commence on October 9, 2o1B to respond to the needs of North Carolinians impacted by the ongoing devastation of Hurricane Florence.
 
In speaking to members of North Carolina's Congressional delegation and fielding concerned calls and letters from educators in the hardest-hit communities over the past several days, we believe that suffìcient cause exists for a special legislative session next week.
 
The state General Assembly has been planning for a devastating natural disaster like Hurricane Florence by storing a record savings reserve in keeping with our commitment to prepare North Carolina citizens for both the good and difficult times. Since Hurricane Matthew, we have approved three substantial state-funded aid packages to leverage federal relief dollars and support storm victims.
 
In anticipation of a substantial future federal appropriation, we intend to make an immediate down payment on Hurricane Florence relief funds. To that end, we are prepared. to act next week.
 
Further, as you know, the General Assembly must take measures to direct to the appropriate state accounts aid dollars that Congress allocates to North Carolina. Members of the Congressional delegation have indicated to us the earliest possible date for a relief package is next week. Proactively clearing potential legal and fiscal hurdles in preparation for a federal relief package will signal to our Congressional partners that North Carolina is ready to immediateþ begin the process of aid disbursal.
 
It is critical that we promptly demonstrate to the U.S. Congress that North Carolina is more than sufficiently solvent to match a signifÏcant federal aid package befitting a state devastated by two major hurricanes in less than 24 months.
 
Additionally, some North Carolina teachers from the hardest hit areas have expressed their concern that, per existing law, they may not receive compensation for the days on which their schools were closed. We should act immediately to allay such concerns and provide financial certainty to teachers, many of whom are likely burdened with the prospect of expensive home repairs.
 
We understand that your administration is still assessing needs of families and local governments facing catastrophic flooding, and we will continue to be responsive to those needs. The aforementioned issues, though, can and should be addressed immediately.
 
Given our shared priority in acting quickly to help the people we represent, we respectfully request you accelerate the date of your call to special session to Friday, September 28, 2018.
 
Phil Berger
President Pro Tempore
North Carolina Senate
 
Tim Moore
Speaker
North Carolina House of Representatives
 
 
Last Updated on Monday, 24 September 2018 09:33
 
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