North Carolina needs $900 million in Hurricane Matthew aid. Trump is offering $6 million.

North Carolina needs $900 million in Hurricane Matthew aid. Trump is offering $6 million.
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

The Trump administration will grant just $6.1 million of the $929 million in federal aid North Carolina requested to fund the state's recovery from Hurricane Matthew, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday.

That's less than 1% of the "conservative" estimate of what the state says it needs to cover damages from last October's devastating storm.

"Families across Eastern North Carolina need help to rebuild and recover, and it is an incredible failure by the Trump Administration and Congressional leaders to turn their backs," Cooper said in a statement.

Hurricane Matthew — which slammed the southeastern United States in October — brought huge rains to North Carolina and caused massive flooding in the state, where the storm took at least 28 lives and caused an estimated $1.5 billion in damage, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

About 82,000 North Carolinians have registered with FEMA, which has provided the state with upward of $96 million in aid.

In April, Cooper requested more than $900 million in resources to address housing issues, cover losses to agriculture, repair public facilities damaged in the storm, help small businesses and provide health services to impacted residents, according to the governor's statement.

In a letter addressed to President Donald Trump, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, Cooper described the offered $6.1 million in disaster relief as "shockingly less than the need."

"I write to express shock and disappointment in the lack of federal funding for Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts in North Carolina, and encourage you to prioritize North Carolina's urgent request for help," Cooper wrote.

Cooper urged Trump to visit the Tar Heel State to tour the damage wrought by Hurricane Matthew, and called for the federal government to "rise to the occasion to support this recovery" through a supplemental spending bill or through the 2018 appropriations process. 

"Many affected North Carolinians feel that they have been forgotten, and though the flood waters may have receded, I refuse to let their needs go unmet," Cooper wrote. "Our citizens and communities are struggling, and will only be able to make a full recovery with the aid of much needed federal assistance."

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Eric Lutz

Eric Lutz is a staff writer at Mic. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at ericlutz@mic.com.

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