NC legislators plan relief package for Matthew victims

Hurricane Matthew did not just affect those in the Palmetto State. Viewers in Robeson County report catastrophic flooding in the wake of the storm.
Hurricane Matthew did not just affect those in the Palmetto State. Viewers in Robeson County report catastrophic flooding in the wake of the storm.

GREENVILLE, N.C.  – Thousands of people across the east continue to work on recovery efforts following Hurricane Matthew.

State legislators said they want to step in and work on a plan to help those affected, and they’re in the process of making a Hurricane Matthew relief package.

The package is being modeled after a similar package made in 1999 in response to Hurricane Floyd.

Rep. John Bell of Wayne County said he’s working with small business owners and community members to find out what needs to be done for those directly affected.

Bell said although FEMA is involved and federal aid is available; it won’t be enough for some.

The plan will look at three main aspects: economy, agriculture and transportation.

“You have to look at what we’ve done with transportation funding to make sure that the current transportation budget can hold strong,” said Bell. “We have a lot of roads in eastern North Carolina that were simply just washed away. So we want to make sure that we’re able to appropriate funds to do that.”

The package outlines how to help business owners who received damage to their building.

It also proposes ways to help farmers retrieve their crops and rebuild their farmland.

Bell said he does not expect a special session to be called and hopes this is the first bill filed when state legislatures head back in January.

Back in 1999 a special session was called in response to Hurricane Floyd.

Legislators approved an $836 million recovery package.

This relief package is expected to be completed in the next couple of weeks, and bell said he does not expect much opposition.