BLADENBORO — The town of Bladenboro was the recipient Wednesday of a crucial $126,720 grant from the N.C. Department of Commerce that will assist with cleanup from Hurricane Matthew.
According to John O’Daniel, town administrator, the town continues to have problems with its rainwater runoff.
“This grant was important for us because, when we have heavy rains there is only one channel for water to flow — which runs from the hardware store to Richardson Road — and it’s been clogged with debris since the hurricane,” he said. “The county recently received a grant to clean that channel up from Richardson Road to the Robeson County line, but we need to take care of our end, as well.”
O’Daniel added that the grant wlil allow the town to remove trees, sediment and other storm debris that is clogging up the channel.
The grant is part of a $10.25 million package provided by the General Assembly and funneled through the N.C. Department of Commerce to assist with economic development and small business after the Oct. 8, 2016, storm swept through the region.
“Many North Carolinians are still on the road to recovery from Hurricane Matthew, and these grants will help communities with key efforts to rebuild,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in a press release.
O’Daniel said there are still a few residences and at least one business that have yet to recover from the hurricane. At least two residences could be rebuild or simply razed, and The Medicine Shoppe, which saw up to 4 feet of water in its building, remains in a temporary location while its owners deal with the abatement of asbestos and replacement of flooring and walls.
Six other areas received grants on Wednesday, including Greene County, Snow Hill, Elizabeth City, Farmville, Ayden and Winterville.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.