Sandhills homeowners benefit from disaster relief funds after Hurricanes Matthew, Florence

Akilah Davis Image
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
EMBED <>More Videos

The damaging impact of Hurricanes Matthew and Florence is still visible in many communities across the Sandhills.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The damaging impact of Hurricanes Matthew and Florence is still visible in many communities across the Sandhills. On Louise Circle, there are several homes that are vacant and damaged from the storms.

"I'm embarrassed for people to come in my house. I know you had to take pictures because this is the only way people are able to see the magnitude of the damage here," said Hollywood Heights resident Quancidine Hinson-Gribble.

Storm Ready 2020: Preparing in a Pandemic

Life for Hinson-Gribble has been overwhelming for four years. She turned her living room into a makeshift bedroom. Another room has become living quarters for her 75-years-old neighbor whose home was destroyed during Hurricanes Matthew and Florence.

"It made the subfloors damaged. They were wet and weak. It gave in places. This entire bathroom has to be taken out all the way..walls and everything," said Hinson-Gribble.

Over the years, she's received assistance from disaster relief groups, but nothing from the state. But Monday, Gov. Roy Cooper announced $542 million in federal funds are available through the Rebuild North Carolina Storm Recovery Program for Hurricanes Matthew and Florence victims still in need of repairs.

In a news conference, Cooper said the recovery office had already identified and approved 1,300 homes for community development block grant funding. The new program, which started Monday, took the federal government 500 days--nearly two years--to launch as they ironed out the requirements of how the money could be invested.

However, Office of Recovery and Resiliency Chief Operating Officer Laura Hogshead said North Carolina was the first state to have their action plan approved for the federal funds out of 28 that have been granted monies so far.

Those who wish to apply for funds can do so here. Hogshead said homeowners and business owners who have already applied to the Rebuild NC program do not need to submit a second application.

'Know Your Zone': NC officials provide guidance as state prepares for 2020 hurricane season

According to the state, if you owned or occupied a home during these disasters, you qualify. You can apply here.

Hinson-Gribble said she will apply Tuesday night. Maybe this time around, she said, things will return back to normal.

Those with questions about the program can call 833-ASK-RBNC or send an email to

RELATED: Millions in hurricane relief still on the way for NC despite COVID-19 crisis