North Carolina officials discuss Hurricane Matthew recovery

Ocean surf surged in the Outer Banks on Oct. 9, 2016 as Hurricane Matthew stormed through the region. Credit: WAVY/Andy Fox.

WINDSOR, N.C. (WAVY) — North Carolina officials met in Bertie County on Monday to talk about the progress of recovery efforts from Hurricane Matthew.

The meeting comes less than a week after reports that the state would be getting 99 percent less than the $929 million that was requested for Matthew relief.

Heavy rain and strong winds Matthew caused widespread destruction across numerous communities — and resulted in the death of more than two dozen people.

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An estimated $40 million in damages was caused by the storm in Dare County alone. A total of 125 yards of North Carolina Highway 12 along the Outer Banks collapsed into the sea from overwash during Matthew’s surge across the state.

Matthew has since been retired as an Atlantic tropical storm name.

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Mike Sprayberry, North Carolina Emergency Management director, walked the streets of downtown Windsor Monday morning.

“They’re working very hard to be resilient and to rebuild in a better, more effective way,” Sprayberry said. “That’s what we’re trying to do here is be good, better partners to the local folks.”

Sprayberry was joined by Windsor Mayor Jim Hoggard and Chair of the Bertie County Commissioners John Trent.

“We have to have the state step in. We have to have the federal government step in and we have to have people come in here and say, ‘Okay, this is what we need to do to help,'” said Trent. “You can only deal with so much as a human being living here in Bertie County.”

Officials visited several properties that were damaged by flooding. Multiple buildings in Windsor are still closed, including the library, EMS station 1, and a number of local businesses.  Some of those businesses are not reopening.  “In our downtown, right here in just two or three blocks, we had 50 to 60 businesses flood,” said Hoggard.

Officials say the town has already received $90,000 in federal aid, but they say they’re still in need of more.  The state is working on solutions for local businesses while local officials are trying to fund a feasibility study to investigate solutions to stop the flooding.