Resilience a goal

A bill passed by the state House of Representatives last week could provide funds for resilience planning to help towns avoid repeats of floods like this one during Hurricane Dorian in Atlantic Beach. (Mike Shutak photo)

BEAUFORT — State lawmakers are in the process of considering a bill that, if approved, would earmark more than $200 million for disaster recovery from every major named storm since 2016. These include hurricanes Matthew, Florence, Dorian and Tropical Storm Michael.

Wednesday night, House lawmakers passed an engrossed version of House Bill 1023 to the Senate for consideration. An engrossed bill means a bill that includes various amendments tacked on during the voting process. Thursday, the Senate passed a bill with different language and some provisions added or deleted, and both chambers appointed a committee to work out the differences after an adjournment until Nov. 13.

First filed on Oct. 22, the House bill earmarks $280 million in funding for storm-related recovery of last year’s Hurricane Florence, 2016’s Hurricane Matthew and this year’s Hurricane Dorian.

The bill breaks down the $280 million for a number of projects.

For example, $38,173,258 is earmarked for the State Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Fund. Of that $38 million, $11,197,013 will go toward providing the state’s match for federal funds relating to disaster assistance programs that focus on Hurricane Matthew.

The allocation will also provide $17,800,000 to cover the state’s match for federal disaster recovery assistance from Hurricane Dorian, “as well as similar state assistance programs that may supplement federal assistance or cover housing repairs and rehabilitation for those who may not qualify for federal assistance” reads a portion of the bill.

An additional $5 million is earmarked “to ensure that sufficient funds are available to provide relief and assistance for Hurricane Dorian, recent storms, and future emergencies,” reads the bill.

The bill also sets aside $40 million to assist local governments with grants and loans for a number of recovery efforts.

Local government loans will be available from a pool of $20 million. These loans can be for recovery projects stemming from all the major named storms dating back to 2016.

“The (North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency) shall enter into agreements with local governments to ensure the proper use of the funds and the return of the funds to the State once the local governments have received federal reimbursement,” the bill currently reads. “Loans may be used for cash-flow assistance while awaiting federal reimbursement. NCORR shall operate the program on a revolving loan fund basis to assist the maximum number of local governments possible.”

An additional $10 million in grants is specifically earmarked for Dorian recovery.  

“Grants may be used for repairs, staff support and technical assistance, cash-flow assistance, and other related activities,” the bill reads.

Lawmakers have also identified preventive measures along coastal counties as a primary concern.

More than $1 million will go toward four full-time positions to help coastal counties with resilience planning. These employees will work with local and federal officials for plan implementation. The Living Shoreline projects are also scheduled to receive $2 million in funding, should the bill pass.  

Contact Dean-Paul Stephens at 252-726-7081, ext. 232; email; or follow on Twitter @DeanPEStephens.

(4) comments

David Collins

This could pass, unless Gov. Cooper vetoes it. Just like the teacher’s raise bill, claiming it is not enough. So now they will get nothing? Nothing is better than something? Guess it is in Raleigh-land. Hope that those who voted him in are pleased with their educated decision. Strange that I have not heard a peep from the NCEA, our teachers union by another name.

Core Sounder

Talk about pork barrel spending. Imagine most of these taxpayers dollars will be used to create more gov jobs that are not needed and someone please tell me what in the devil is a living shoreline and why do we need to spend 2 million or so to build one? I mean after all according to the experts we will all be under water within a few years here along our coast so why sink a lot of money into a living shoreline unless its a project that fish will benefit from.

David Collins

Core Sounder, yes, you are correct. It is all pork barrel spending. Living shorelines are a cruel liberal joke along with all the other associated garbage they are force fed in their climate science “education” studies. All one has to do is observe, over time , and the fact is that we, human intrusion, is the absolute worse thing that could happen. And it has and is happening ,

David Collins

Come on down to Swansboro, Core Sounder, down to water street. A living shoreline is being created as I type. These rocket scientists are piling up a bunch of big rocks off shore of a decaying bulkhead to save what is called Wards Shore. How this rip rap is going to keep this shore from eroding further is beyond me or anyone else with a lick of sense between their ears is quite elusive. Ben told that this is the end all of shoreline engineering these days and will preserve the shore for many generations to come. Well, those generations better darn well be a coming because this won’t last long. Just like that farce they constructed in Cape Carteret that no one will own up to.

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