Governor Cooper announces new Hurricane Matthew relief

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Governor Cooper announces new Hurricane Matthew relief
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Governor Cooper announces new Hurricane Matthew relief

LUMBERTON, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Governor Roy Cooper announced a multimillion dollar spending package for Robeson County Wednesday for Hurricane Matthew relief.

$70 million will go to Robeson County from the Community Development Block Grant. It's different from the $200 million Dollar Disaster Recovery Relief fund that promised $149 million to Robeson, Cumberland, Edgecombe, and Wayne counties, the hardest hit counties in the state.

Governor Cooper announced the new funding from the front yard of Mary Smith. Her home was destroyed by the flood waters.

"'Had a lot of water, had to be carried out by boat," Smith said.

Smith said she was initially nervous about the Governor's visit, but that quickly changed once he arrived.

"He's just a regular person. I'm just glad that these people will get some recognition - the ones that's helped so much," said Smith.

The recognition of those groups came in the form of $225,000. That money will go to the United Methodist Disaster Recovery team who's been rebuilding the Smith's home since December.

"We've got two rooms complete, working on a bedroom. And hopefully we can get the homeowners back into their home soon," said UMC volunteer Mike Katona.

While that's music to the Smith family's ears, they tell ABC11 they're sad to see the volunteers go.

"We've had people coming in since early December and there's been someone always here and when they leave it's just like losing family," said Mary Elizabeth Smith.

The UMC Disaster Recovery group tells ABC11 the $200,000 will go toward housing for more volunteers and the purchase of new equipment. They say that will help them speed up the rebuilding process for more homeowners.

As for the $70 million package, funding will be set aside for flood prevention. Including a study on how the Lumberton Levee breached.