Hurricane victims in North Carolina brace for another Christmas without their wish granted

Monday, December 23, 2019
Hurricane victims brace for another Christmas without wish granted
Hurricane victims brace for another Christmas without wish granted

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Hurricane victims in North Carolina are bracing for another Christmas without their wish, even as state officials work hard to answer their questions.

Monday was the last day for them to submit comments before officials submit their plan for storm relief and mitigation efforts for federal approval.

North Carolina's Office of Recovery and Resiliency, known as NCORR, is the lead agency in the Tar Heel State's restoration efforts from Hurricanes Matthew (2016), Florence (2018) and Dorian (2019).

RELATED: $7 billion being spent on Hurricane Florence, up to $1 billion on hold

The office recently completed a draft Action Plan for spending $168 million in Community Development Block Grant-Mitigation (CDGB-MIT) funding allocated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the State of North Carolina. Under federal guidelines, the money can be used to assist areas impacted by hurricanes Matthew and Florence to fund projects that will mitigate and reduce future disaster risks, as well as address the needs of communities impacted by past disasters.

In presentations at various public meetings this fall, officials defined mitigation as "activities that increase resilience to disasters and reduce or eliminate the long term risk of loss of life, injury, damage to and loss of property, and suffering and hardship, by lessening the impact of future disasters."

Some victims though have no faith in the process, and that's probably the government's biggest challenge.

"You go forward then you go backward," said hurricane victim James Best. "It's like a dog with a chain. You have so much room but then you get yanked back. It's very frustrating stuff."

"If they tell me to take walk off a pier at least, I'll know what to do then," said Tim Harrington. "And I'll start fixing my own stuff."