Governor Pat McCrory signed the Disaster Recovery Act of 2016 into law yesterday, providing $201 million to help citizens and communities recover from Hurricane Matthew and wildfires. The governor was joined at the Executive Mansion by legislators, mayors, county commissioners, members of the governor’s Hurricane Matthew Recovery Committee and N.C. Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry.
Representative Bell was a primary sponsor of this important legislation.
“Since Hurricane Matthew and wildfires have impacted our state, we have learned valuable lessons for the future and listened to the needs of those still suffering,” said Governor McCrory. “This bill will provide some immediate assistance to citizens as they recover, especially during the Christmas holidays and winter months. This is the first step in long-term recovery efforts.”
The Disaster Recovery Act addresses five key areas which Governor McCrory outlined in his request and provides:
- $29 million for short-term housing for areas not covered by FEMA and grants for rental assistance, construction of new rental units and repairs;
- $40 million for local governments to address school calendar flexibility and help fund repairs to water/sewer, road, sidewalk, drainage and residential infrastructure, among other local needs;
- $5 million for economic development and stabilization to help impacted businesses get back on their feet;
- $11.5 million for planning to ensure communities are rebuilt in a sustainable way;
- And $76 million to cover the state share of Disaster Relief to directly help our citizens and replenish the State Emergency Response and Disaster Relief fund to ensure North Carolina is prepared for the next disaster.
This bill also includes $38 million for the N.C. Department of Agriculture to cover costs from wildfires and Hurricane Matthew, and $1 million to support volunteer fire departments.
Governor McCrory has hailed North Carolina’s strong economy and responsible budgeting practices for allowing the state to respond to these disasters. During the ceremony, the governor discussed numerous lessons the state learned throughout the response to Hurricane Matthew and wildfires in western North Carolina.