Raleigh, N.C. – The state House of Representatives approved another $180 million for hurricane relief and resiliency measures in preparation for future storms on Thursday, adding more disaster recovery funds to the more than a billion dollars already committed by the North Carolina General Assembly for disaster recovery since 2016.
The 2019 Storm Recovery Act/Various Budget Corrections Act contained in House Bill 200 also includes disaster recovery policy provisions recommended by the Joint Legislative Committee on Program Evaluation and technical corrections to the base budget.
The bill appropriates over $121 million from North Carolina’s Savings Reserve Account for federal matching funds and another $59 million for state emergency response and disaster relief funds to support recovery from prior hurricanes and quickly respond to future storms.
The funds will provide assistance for victims of Hurricanes Dorian, Florence, and Matthew, as well as Tropical Storm Michael, and support resiliency initiatives including expansion of flood mitigation studies and investments in water level breach monitoring systems.
The funds would also provide flexible local government loans to assist distressed communities impacted by recent hurricanes and support stream debris removal, repairs to academic and residential buildings, and directed grants for disaster relief in high-need counties.
The storm recovery funds include a $1.7 million appropriation for repairs to the Ocracoke School necessitated by the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian on Ocracoke Island.
Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson) said the legislation is the result of a long-term commitment to disaster resiliency, recovery, and a strong savings reserve fund for North Carolina.
“Our state is fortunate that years of smart financial management allow us to continue appropriating hundreds of millions of dollars for unanticipated disaster relief needs without raising taxes or diverting funds from other critical needs,” Rep. McGrady said Thursday.
“I appreciate the prudent budgeting of my colleagues in this General Assembly that gives storm victims in North Carolina confidence our state is on solid financial footing to meet their long-term storm relief needs.”
The state House also approved another $36 million of disaster relief appropriations in Senate Bill 356 DOT Cash and Accountability on Thursday to cover cash flow shortfalls at the North Carolina Department of Transportation due in part to emergency recovery spending.