FEMA Approves Buyout Of 84 Additional Flood Damages Homes In Wayne County

192 Additional Homes Identified In Latest Round Of Hurricane Matthew Buyouts

More than 190 additional homeowners flooded by Hurricane Matthew will soon get $20.8 million in federal and state funds to buyout, elevate or reconstruct homes damaged by the storm, according to NC Emergency Management.

“Residents in Wayne County and Windsor have been eagerly awaiting this news,” said state Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “Soon they will get started with these projects to get families into more resilient homes.”

The latest announcement brings the total amount of Hazard Mitigation Grants awarded in North Carolina for Hurricane Matthew to $71.7 million for 558 properties.

This latest award of Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds will be used to reconstruct 15 homes, elevate 25 homes and buyout 152 properties so the homeowners can find housing outside the floodplain.

The latest HMGP awards include:
Wayne County – $7,872,590 to buyout 84 properties (9 pending historical clearance)
Town of Fair Bluff – $3,651,710 to buyout 34 properties.
Pender County – $2,091,805 to elevate 14 homes
Robeson County – $2,098,914 to reconstruct 15 homes
Town of Windsor – $5,271,964 to buyout 34 properties (4 pending historical clearance) and elevate 11 homes (1 pending historical clearance)

Fourteen of the properties – including nine in Seven Springs and five in Windsor – have been conditionally approved pending final environmental reviews to ensure there is no adverse historical impact.

For the remaining 178 properties that FEMA approved, the state can now enter into the required project agreements with the receiving counties and towns and discuss program requirements. It is then up to each local government to select contractors and begin the actual demolition work. The city or county will distribute the grant funds to the homeowner and will then be reimbursed by NCEM.

State emergency management officials anticipate approximately $115 million total in HMGP grants will be awarded in North Carolina by early August to help Matthew survivors get into more flood-resistant homes.

The federal program uses a combination of federal and state funds to elevate, reconstruct or buyout qualified homeowners whose home is at risk of repeated damage from flooding.  Following major disasters, a percentage of total federal recovery funds is designated to develop more resilient communities using one of the approved methods. North Carolina earned the status of an Enhanced Hazard Mitigation state based on its thorough plan and program history, meaning a larger portion of the program is paid for by federal funds That enhanced status, which FEMA renewed in May, translated into an additional $25 million to help 210 more homeowners following Hurricane Matthew.

This program has proven its value repeatedly, helping protect homeowners from additional disasters. More than 4,000 North Carolina homeowners and properties have benefited from mitigation measures during the past 20 years.

In the months after Hurricane Matthew, NC Emergency Management staff evaluated more than 3,000 applications from homeowners for HMGP funding, 10 times the typical number as compared to similar disasters. As a comparison, it took staff 18 months to evaluate 300 applications after Hurricane Irene in 2011.

NCEM staff then submitted applications to FEMA to either acquire, elevate or reconstruct nearly 800 different properties damaged by Hurricane Matthew. NCEM supported local governments by writing each grant application on their behalf.