RALEIGH – Several months ago, Governor Roy Cooper and his administration came under fire from Eastern North Carolina lawmakers of both parties after it was revealed that not a a single penny of hundreds of millions of dollars in disaster relief funds had been distributed 18 months after Hurricane Matthew flooded large portions of the coast.
Hearing were held, lawmakers demanded answers, and Cooper officials scrambled to explain just why North Carolina was so slow to ditribute this money, when our neighbors to the north and south were taking care of business.
Now, according to reports by WBTV’s Nick Ochsner the problem of unspent funds, instead of getting better, has gotten dramatically worse. More than $400 million in Hurricane Matthew funds are sitting idle, and Eastern N.C. residents are still waiting for relief.
— Nick Ochsner (@NickOchsnerWBTV) July 10, 2018
“North Carolina Emergency Management leaders have missed another self-imposed deadline in the effort to help repair and replace homes damaged by Hurricane Matthew.
Now, nearly two years later, thousands of people are still without homes and businesses in many small communities remain boarded up, despite repeated promises and assurances from senior state leaders that help is on the way.
One such promise came in late April, at a meeting of the North Carolina House Committee on Disaster Recovery. Nick Burk, then a deputy director for recovery with the North Carolina Emergency Management office, told lawmakers his agency hoped to begin construction using a pot of federal money from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development by June 30.
That date has come and gone with no sign of construction starting in the immediate future. This is the second self-imposed deadline Burk presented to the committee in April that has been missed.
North Carolina has been awarded more than $400 million in money from HUD, through what’s called community development block grants for disaster recovery, or CDBG-DR.”
The first lesson here should be that government is a cumbersome, ineffective, slow vehicle for facilitating disaster relief efforts. Not only are these tax dollars taken from taxpayers around the state and the country in order to hand out to those unfortunate enough to be in a storms destructive path, but the government agencies hardly ever live up to the promises of relief that they make.
A second observation would be that Democrats are great spenders of other people’s money, except when it really counts. Cooper and his cohorts on the Left, if they had their rathers, would waste no time at all to spend billions more on state run education programs and welfare for the poor and victimized, digging a deep debt hole in the process.
But when thousands of families are caught flatfooted by an act of God, the spend rate is painfully slow.
“For months, state leaders with NCEM have refused to answer questions on camera from WBTV about the slow pace of hurricane recovery.
In June, Governor Roy Cooper promised to have someone from his administration sit down and answer questions on camera. To date, WBTV’s requests for an interview have still gone unanswered. A spokesman for Cooper did not respond to multiple messages sent Monday seeking an explanation for why the Governor has not fulfilled his promise to schedule an on-camera interview to discuss hurricane recovery.
Meanwhile, in South Carolina, where state disaster recovery leaders received CDBG-DR funds to aid Hurricane Matthew recovery at the same time as North Carolina, 145 families have been placed back in homes that were damaged by the storm and a total of 459 award letters have been issued.
So far in North Carolina, one family has been granted an exception to receive a reimbursement using CDBG-DR funds.”
Democrats loved to cry about former Republican Gov. Pat McCrory as an ineffective leader. What do they have to say about Cooper’s leadership on this issue?
Read more from WBTV’s report here.