Politics & Government

NC legislature’s Hurricane Matthew relief session set for Dec. 13

Princeville residents get first look at flooded homes

Princeville residents had their first opportunity in more than two weeks to assess damage and salvage belongings Tuesday afternoon, October 25, 2016 after flooding associated with Hurricane Matthew forced residents to evacuate.
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Princeville residents had their first opportunity in more than two weeks to assess damage and salvage belongings Tuesday afternoon, October 25, 2016 after flooding associated with Hurricane Matthew forced residents to evacuate.

Gov. Pat McCrory on Friday set Dec. 13 as the date for a special session of the legislature to authorize funding and other disaster relief measures for parts of the state damaged by Hurricane Matthew.

McCrory announced the anticipated session in Kinston at the fifth and final regional meeting of a hurricane committee he formed.

“Now that we have received input directly from the communities most impacted by Hurricane Matthew, I am officially requesting that the legislature convene for a special session to address these important needs as quickly as possible,” McCrory said in a statement his office released. “I want to thank the communities for their feedback and the members of the committee for their tireless work to help North Carolina recover. While this is the final regional meeting, our work (to) help those in need is far from complete.”​

Federal disaster relief will pay only part of the anticipated costs of rebuilding communities that flooded in the wake of the hurricane in October. The legislature will have to authorize state spending to supplement that money, and McCrory has also been soliciting private contributions.

The economic damage to the state is estimated at $2 billion. McCrory has asked the federal government for $1 billion.

The governor also announced that he signed an executive order on Thursday waiving some size and weight restrictions and registration requirements on manufactured housing to be used for those who were displaced by the storm.

The counties where people are eligible for temporary mobile homes are Johnston, Harnett, Wayne, Bladen, Columus, Edgecombe, Robeson and Sampson. Additional counties might become eligible.

“The General Assembly looks forward to hearing the Governor’s plan and assisting in any way that we can,” House Majority Leader John Bell of Goldsboro said in a statement he released Friday.

Earlier this week, Bell said in a “What Matters in North Carolina” podcast interview that he wasn’t convinced a special session was needed at this time, since fires in the western part of the state have caused damage that will also need relief. He said it might make sense to deal with both problems at the same time.

Craig Jarvis: 919-829-4576, @CraigJ_NandO

Lumberton residents gut homes, remove debris and try to salvage what they can Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 a month after Hurricane Matthew's floodwaters damaged hundreds of homes and businesses in the Robeson County city.

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