Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew

Environment Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

HUD Inspector General: No “reasonable assurance” that ReBuild NC properly spent $2.5 million in Hurricane Matthew disaster relief

A new federal Inspector General's report found that ReBuild NC couldn't provide "reasonable assurance" that $2.5 million in Hurricane Matthew disaster relief funds had been "properly spent," according to an audit dated Sept. 16 and published by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. If the state can't provide documentation for those expenditures, it must repay those funds to HUD.

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Environment News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Hurricane survivors testify before legislative oversight committee, unveiling the truth about ReBuild NC’s bungled disaster relief program

They arrived with folded papers pulled from their pockets. Some came carrying folders that brimmed with documents neatly arranged in binder clips. Others arrived empty-handed, but hoped to leave with answers. With scores more watching in person and online, survivors of hurricanes Matthew and Florence spoke before a state government oversight committee Wednesday about the injustices they have endured – a direct result of the bungled disaster relief program run by the NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency, also known as ReBuild NC. 

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

NC legislative hearing should feature tough questions about state’s troubled hurricane response

Six years. That’s how long it will have been, come next month, since Hurricane Matthew raked and inundated eastern North Carolina with high winds and catastrophic rainfall. The storm arrived on October 8, 2016, and left within a day, but the trail of destruction that resulted was huge.

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Environment News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

508 years: The cumulative amount of time hurricane survivors have been displaced from their homes

ReBuild NC also revises -- upward -- expenditures on motels, other temporary housing for hurricane survivors 508 years or 185,522 days: That’s the total amount of time spent displaced for the 1,774 households receiving temporary relocation assistance from ReBuild NC’s homeowner disaster relief program ReBuild NC, whose formal name is the NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency, sent the information to Policy Watch, which requested the figures under public records law. 

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Environment News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

ReBuild NC spent $10.6 million to house Hurricane Matthew survivors who have languished in motels — some for years

ReBuild NC has spent $10.64 million on motels, moving and storage unit expenses in three years for displaced Hurricane Matthew survivors, as construction and administrative delays have kept people from returning to their homes. The figures were included in Temporary Relocation Assistance (TRA) data provided by ReBuild NC, also known as the NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency.

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Environment News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As construction delays continue, ReBuild NC is incurring enormous costs to house displaced Hurricane Matthew survivors in motels

Displaced homeowners also finding their belongings damaged in mobile storage units; state paid for them but says it's not responsible The NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency could not produce records to Policy Watch of how much money it has spent in the last five years on motels and storage units for people displaced by Hurricane Matthew, according to a spokesperson’s email. However, based on figures for just six families, the amount likely runs into the millions of dollars.

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Top Story

Gov. Cooper orders NCORR to expedite Hurricane Matthew recovery, but homeowners’ woes continue

Thad Artis, Jr. is living alone in limbo. Artis is entering his second summer in a Goldsboro motel, waiting to move into his new modular home in Pikeville. But his contractor, Rescue Construction, has made no progress on the home.  “A motel is not a home,” Artis said. “It’s just a place to go when you’re on vacation.” Artis is among thousands of homeowners enrolled in the NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency's Hurricane Matthew disaster recovery program. He is also among hundreds and hundreds still displaced after the historic 2016 storm.

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Environment News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Roverta and Franklin survived Hurricane Matthew, only to be ignored by the state’s RebuildNC program

For 28 years, Roverta and Franklin have owned a spacious mobile home and a lot in Dudley, in Wayne County. Here, they raised a family. They planted a flower garden. They barbecued in the backyard. Roberta ran a day care, as the couple’s own children grew into adults.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Governor’s office must do much better on hurricane recovery

As most voters have shown they understand, Roy Cooper has been one of the best governors in modern North Carolina history. He’s a skilled lawyer, pragmatic politician, and a caring and committed progressive who believes in human rights and building a fairer and more equitable and sustainable society. He’s no saint – no one would ever expect such a thing – but in comparison to many of the cynical and on-the-make charlatans and hatemongers...

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

State must act ASAP to address facts uncovered in Policy Watch hurricane recovery investigation

In some ways, of course, there’s nothing new or terribly surprising when large bureaucracies – be they government agencies or big corporations – are revealed to be plagued by waste and malfeasance. Humans and their institutions being as they are, flawed and prone to human foibles like incompetence, greed, sloth, overpromising, and favoritism, such revelations have been a constant in the American experience since prior to the country’s founding.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW investigation: State recovery office awarded troubled construction company $80 million in homebuilding contracts while thousands of Hurricane Matthew survivors remained displaced

Rescue Construction Solutions blew past construction deadlines and amassed hundreds of homeowner complaints; some people died before they could move back into their ...
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