Friday, June 14, 2024

Two years after Hurricane Matthew, state opens center for those still recovering from the storm

This comes after a group of legislators in May rebuked the state's slow rate of spending $236 million in Matthew-related HUD funds.

Water Street looking north toward Market Street during Hurricane Matthew. (Port City Daily file photo)
Water Street looking north toward Market Street during Hurricane Matthew. (Port City Daily photo / file)

BURGAW — While residents of Pender County are still reeling from widespread flooding damage and debris pile-ups from Hurricane Florence, county officials announced today that state specialists have opened an office to assist residents impacted by Hurricane Matthew, which made landfall on the North Carolina coast in October 2016.

The Hurricane Matthew Recovery Intake Center is located at the Shiloh Columbia Volunteer Fire Department building in the unincorporated community of Willard in northern Pender County.

“Yes, I did say Hurricane Matthew,” Pender County Housing director Judith Herring said. “The center’s housing specialists will meet with families impacted by Hurricane Matthew. The center is open weekdays and Saturdays. Walk-ins are welcomed.”

According to Herring, the center will assist in applications for assistance through Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), which are designed for low-to-moderate income people suffering damages from a disaster.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) granted North Carolina nearly $200 million in the two months after Matthew, HUD added $36 million in additional funds by August 2017. In May of this year, a group of state legislators rebuked the state’s slow rate of spending these funds, informing Governor Roy Cooper that the state was behind other grantees that had received HUD funds for other 2016 disasters.

Herring said that the center’s specialists are representatives for the state sent to work with families who require assistance.

“FEMA is not associated with this program,” Herring said. “The funding comes from HUD through the CDBG program. The funding is granted to the State, who then assists communities with the funds.”

Mark Darrough can be reached at

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