RALEIGH — The freeze on Federal Emergency Management Agency’ funds from its Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation grant programs that are earmarked for counties and municipalities in North Carolina that were affected by Hurricane Matthew has been lifted, according to U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger’s office.
According to a statement from Pittenger, following passage of two separate funding bills, FEMA today lifted the freeze on $110 million, allowing the North Carolina projects to continue. The money had been frozen to quicken aid to Florida and Texas, which have been ravaged by Hurricanes Maria and Harvey.
“FEMA protocol freezes long-term projects immediately after major disasters to ensure enough cash on hand to meet life-threatening needs,” Pittenger said in the statement. “This is why President Trump and I fought to pass Hurricane Harvey funding on Sept. 6 and full-year funding for FEMA on Sept. 14. There were some who attempted to score political points on those votes, but the responsible decision was to fund FEMA and enable North Carolina’s recovery to continue.”
Prior to the recent hurricanes, Pittenger said more than $1 billion in Hurricane Matthew recovery assistance had been sent to North Carolina.
FEMA’s Public Assistance Program provides aid to state and local governments, and to certain nonprofits, to help communities in their recovery efforts. Hazard Mitigation grants provide funds for state and local governments to implement long-term mitigation measures.
Pittenger has a full-time office in Fayetteville, with regular office hours in Lumberton and Elizabethtown. Local residents who need assistance with FEMA or other federal disaster assistance programs should contact his office at 910-303-0669.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.