(Zach Frailey/The Free Press via AP)

North Carolina won't receive 99 percent of requested funds for Hurricane Matthew relief

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper invited President Trump to tour the state and see the damage


Charlie May
May 11, 2017 10:38PM (UTC)

The state of North Carolina asked for $929 million from the federal government to help assist recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, which struck southern states on the East Coast last fall, but will only receive $6.1 million — less than one percent of the requested funding, according to an announcement from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

Cooper said he was feeling "shock and disappointment in the lack of federal funding for Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts," in a letter sent to President Trump and other officials on Wednesday, according to WBTV. The funds would have been used to "help communities and families fix homes, repair businesses and recover from the historic flooding," Cooper said.

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"Families across Eastern North Carolina need help to rebuild and recover, and it is an incredible failure by the Trump Administration and Congressional leaders to turn their backs," Cooper said in a statement, according to WBTV. "Matthew was an historic storm and we are still working every day to help families return home and rebuild their communities. North Carolinians affected by this storm cannot be ignored by the Trump Administration and Congressional leadership, and I will continue to work with our Congressional delegation to get North Carolina residents affected by the storm the help they deserve," he added.

Despite being quite familiar with intense weather storms, Hurricane Matthew hit North Carolina hard. More than 2,000 people were rescued from high water, and half of the state's 100 counties were under a state of emergency, according to the Washington Post.

The Post added:

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North Carolina officials estimate the storm did $2.8 billion in damage, which doesn’t include $2 billion in economic losses. In the days after the storm, Congress gave North Carolina around $332 million for immediate disaster relief in addition to the assistance FEMA provided. In December, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provided the state with $199 million for long-term relief and rebuilding.

Cooper says it wasn’t enough to cover the full extent of the damage. In early April, he requested an additional $929 million. But in the omnibus spending bill passed earlier this month, Congress only gave HUD $400 million.

In other words, the department that allocates long-term disaster relief has a budget that’s less than half of what Cooper says North Carolina needs to recover from Hurricane Matthew alone.

The Trump campaign donated $29,000 of supplies to victims in North Carolina, but seems to have quickly forgotten just how much is still necessary for the state. The governor invited Trump and other elected officials to come to North Carolina to assess the damage.

A statement from Trump has been wiped from the campaign's website.

"I . . . invite you to visit North Carolina and see the devastating impacts of this disaster first hand,” Cooper wrote in the letter. “Our citizens and communities are struggling, and will only be able to make a full recovery with the aid of much needed federal assistance."

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Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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Donald Trump Hurricane Matthew North Carolina Roy Cooper

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