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State Government
Governor McCrory Offers $10,000 Wildfire Reward PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 18 November 2016 11:52
Governor Pat McCrory announced the state is offering a reward of up to $10,000 to be issued to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who are responsible for setting wildfires in western North Carolina. More than 46,000 acres have been burned by wildfires throughout the region, many of which are believed to have been man-made.
 
"We are committed to doing all we can to support our firefighters, protect people and property, and find those who may be responsible for any wildfires in North Carolina," said Governor McCrory. "Firefighters are making progress but the job is not over. I especially want to thank the volunteers serving as firefighters and those helping to feed, house and support firefighters in communities throughout our state."
 
Anyone having information concerning these wildfires should contact Macon County Crimestoppers at (828) 349-2600 or Jackson County Crimestoppers at (828) 631-1125.
 
Speaking from the Bat Cave Volunteer Fire Department in Henderson County, Governor McCrory stressed that while wildfires may have been started by people, dry conditions are causing fires to spread so people throughout western North Carolina need to continue taking steps to prevent wildfires. He also expressed concern about air quality throughout western and central North Carolina.
 
Areas across the mountains could see sustained winds of 20-35 MPH with gusts of 30-50 MPH Saturday morning through Sunday evening. Gusty winds and lack of moisture will increase the threat of wildfires spreading across western North Carolina, as dry weather looks to continue across the state through the middle of next week. Drought conditions continue to spread eastward, and almost half of the state is classified under drought conditions or considered abnormally dry.
 
The governor announced that the State Emergency Operations Center has been activated with the primary mission of providing and managing resources for the NC Forest Service. In addition, the western NC Emergency Management Regional Coordinating Center in Conover has also been activated. Emergency management and fire personnel are working to address Governor McCrory's top priorities of safety, protecting structures, containment and controlling costs.
 
More than 2,100 active personnel are now involved fighting fires which have burned more than 46,700 acres and threatened 1,800 structures. The Party Rock Fire in Rutherford County remains the No. 2 priority fire in the nation, forcing evacuations in Rutherford and Henderson Counties. One shelter is open in Henderson County.
 
A stretch of Highway 74-A leading into Chimney Rock Village from the north and south remains closed. Highway 9 was closed yesterday from the intersection at Highway 74-A in Bat Cave north to Shumont Road.
 
In support of the U.S. Forest Service, N.C. Emergency Management's Helo-Aquatic Rescue Team has deployed a N.C. National Guard Blackhawk helicopter to be on standby, along with local rescue technicians to perform any rescues necessary from wildfire fighting operations.
 
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved Governor McCrory's request for financial assistance through Fire Management Assistance Grants which allow FEMA to pay for 75 percent of the emergency protective measures taken in fighting the fires including expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; tools, materials and supplies; and mobilization and demobilization activities.
 
NC #2 in Forbes Best States For Business List PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 18 November 2016 11:42
For the second consecutive year, North Carolina is the nation’s No. 2 best state for business according to Forbes magazine. Forbes' annual “Best States for Business” list measures which states have the best business climates and are poised to succeed going forward. North Carolina is the only state in the southeast to be ranked in the top five.‚Äč
 
“This ranking is further affirmation that our pro-growth economic policies and excellent business climate have once again made North Carolina a top destination for jobs,” said Governor McCrory. “Our economy continues to outperform the nation as we are home to the most improved tax climate in the country and have added more than 300,000 new jobs since 2013.”
 
Forbes' “Best States for Business” rankings are based on an assessment of criteria that include job growth, costs, educational attainment and start-up activity. Among the highlights of North Carolina’s ranking is the cost to do business in the state, which is 10 percent below the national average.
 
Earlier this month, Site Selection magazine gave North Carolina the No. 2 position in its annual rankings of America’s best states for business, also for the second year in a row. In May, Chief Executive magazine named North Carolina the nation’s No. 3 best business climate for 2016.
 
“Historic reforms to our tax, regulatory and service-delivery climate have not only yielded some of the strongest economic growth in the country, but have earned accolades from the nation’s business media,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III.
 
Since Governor McCrory entered office in January 2013, North Carolina’s economy is one of the fastest growing in the nation adding more than 300,000 net new jobs. The state’s unemployment rate during that time fell from 8.8 percent to 4.7 percent and has decreased in all 100 counties. The governor also signed historic, pro-growth tax reform saving families and businesses $4.7 billion and positioning North Carolina as the most improved business tax climate in the nation.
Last Updated on Friday, 18 November 2016 11:44
 
Gov McCrory Seeks $1 Billion In Federal Relief For Hurricane Matthew PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 14 November 2016 17:20
Governor Pat McCrory submitted a formal request to North Carolina's congressional delegation for more than $1 billion in federal assistance to help the state recover from Hurricane Matthew. Initial assessments estimate that Hurricane Matthew caused $2 billion in economic damage to the state.
 
"Over the past several weeks, North Carolina has experienced severe flooding in the East, wildfires in the West and drought conditions throughout the state. Because North Carolina is one of the largest states in the nation in terms of both population and economy, these large-scale disasters that recently affected North Carolina will have a national impact. I am requesting the assistance of the North Carolina Congressional Delegation in securing federal funding during the remaining weeks of the 114th Congress for the benefit of our constituents and future generations of North Carolinians," said Governor McCrory. "Although we have made wise investments to our rainy day fund since 2013, no amount of planning could have prepared us for the sheer scale and devastating nature of the disasters we have encountered since late September."
 
In order to ensure that state resources can be maximized for recovery and mitigation at the state level, Governor McCrory has requested that Congress reduce the total amount of dollars the state will be required to reimburse or match for federal assistance programs by reducing the non-federal cost share from 25 percent to 10 percent.
 
At the height of Hurricane Matthew, 800,000 people were without power, nearly 3,750 people were displaced from their homes, 635 roads were closed, 34 school systems were closed and tragically, 28 individuals lost their lives. Preliminary estimates indicate more than 30,000 businesses suffered physical or economic damage impacting 40,000 employees. In addition, counties impacted by the storm account for roughly two-thirds of the state's $8.1 billion in agricultural income.
 
The largest portion of the governor's requested assistance is $810 million dedicated for Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery to address housing, water/sewer and utility infrastructure, jobs and agriculture needs. Hurricane Matthew damaged or destroyed nearly 80,000 residential structures with a total loss of more than $777 million. Funds for housing will not only replace damaged or destroyed properties, but also address long-term resiliency efforts including elevation, retrofitting and repair.
 
Other requested assistance includes $40 million for the Army Corps of Engineers to restore navigational channels to pre-Hurricane Matthew conditions. There is $41 million dedicated to repair 65 low, intermediate and high hazard dams damaged as a result of Hurricane Matthew to prevent future failure.
 
FEMA Approves Hurricane Matthew Relief For 12 NC Counties PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 14 November 2016 17:15
Governor Pat McCrory announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved funding to cover additional expenses to help communities in 12 counties recover and rebuild from Hurricane Matthew. Also, Franklin County was approved for Public Assistance funds.
 
“These funds are vital in helping our communities move forward from Hurricane Matthew’s devastating impacts,” said Governor McCrory. “Municipalities can repair or replace damaged facilities and infrastructure and provide necessary services.”
 
Federal Public Assistance funding is now available for 48 counties. Today's amendment makes additional funds available in 13 of those counties to offset the costs of critical infrastructure repairs for local governments, state agencies, certain non-profit agencies and federally recognized Indian Tribal governments that are located in designated disaster areas. Eligible counties include Anson, Bladen, Chatham, Cumberland, Franklin, Halifax, Hoke, Johnson, Lee, Nash, Richmond, Scotland and Wake. Today's declaration also enables Franklin County to seek funds to cover the costs of emergency response measures and debris removal.
 
FEMA notified Governor McCrory this afternoon that communities in the 13 designated counties could apply for federal funds to repair and/or replace roads, bridges, water control facilities, public buildings and equipment, public utilities, parks and recreational facilities. Twelve of those affected counties previously were approved for federal Public Assistance funds to address clearing storm-related debris and emergency protective measures.
 
The governor is encouraging individuals and groups to help in the relief efforts by making a financial or other contribution. Monetary contributions to the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund for Hurricane Matthew can be made by texting NCRECOVERS to 30306 or by visiting NCDisasterRelief.org. This is one of the best ways to help fund long-term recovery efforts.
 
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