Tuesday, August 9, 2022

New Hanover County Schools reimbursed $3 million for Hurricane Florence repairs

Wilmington residents arrive at the Trask shelter, one of the recipients of the recently announced $3 million to cover Hurricane Florence-related damages, days before the hurricane made landfall in the Wilmington area. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Wilmington residents arrive at the Trask shelter, one of the recipients of the recently announced $3 million to cover Hurricane Florence-related damages, days before the hurricane made landfall in the Wilmington area. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)

WILMINGTON — Nine public schools in New Hanover County are the benefactors of $3 million from FEMA and the state to repair damages from Hurricane Florence, nearly 20 months after the hurricane made landfall on Wrightsville Beach.

The funds, announced by FEMA on Wednesday morning, will reimburse costs associated with school repairs and mold remediation.

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“Following the devastation of Hurricane Florence, New Hanover County Schools moved quickly to repair damage and reopen schools,” NHCS Assistant Superintendent of Operations Eddie Anderson said in response to the announcement. “The N.C. Department of Public Safety and FEMA were essential partners in this process. They have been instrumental in assuring critical repairs were completed in a timely manner and in mitigating future damage whenever possible.”

According to FEMA, the federal agency has approved a total of $5 million in reimbursements for Florence-related expenses for the county’s schools.

As part of the Public Assistance cost-sharing program, the state will pay $766,000 while FEMA will pay more than $2.3 million.

Schools that benefited from Florence-related repairs and mold remediation include:

  • College Park Elementary School
  • D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy
  • Dorothy B. Johnson Pre-K Center
  • Eaton Elementary School
  • Holly Shelter Middle School
  • Isaac Bear High School
  • Noble Middle School
  • Ogden Elementary School
  • Trask Middle School

Five shelters were opened to residents before the storm, including Eaton Elementary School, Noble Middle School, and Trask Middle School.

All five hurricane shelters employed by the county are public school buildings, built between 1969 and 1997, when windspeed tolerance requirements were less strict than they are today.


Correction: The original story incorrectly stated that Hurricane Florence made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, but the storm had been downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane prior to making landfall near Wrightsville Beach on September 14. On September 12, it was downgraded from a Category 4 to a Category 3 hurricane.

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