WHITE LAKE — Gov. Roy Cooper visited the hurricane application center in Bladen County on Thursday.
The center, at 5853 U.S. 701 North, opened in August. Residents are still out there, the governor said, who may qualify and can apply for aid through ReBuild NC to help with recovery from Hurricane Matthew.
ReBuild NC, the state’s Community Block Grant Disaster Recovery program commonly referred to as CDBG-DR, provides funding to applicants for housing repairs, homeowner reimbursement and other housing-related issues.
“We still have a number of people who have not made applications who may be eligible for some recovery if they just make the application,” Cooper said in an audio recording of the visit provided to the Bladen Journal by his office. “We started out with five of these application centers, and now we’re up to eight. We wanted to set this one up in Bladen County because we have a number of people who have trouble traveling. It’s important we get recovery to people who have experienced loss.”
Before going, residents should call 211 to schedule an appointment at the center. It is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays and Wenesdays; from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
During the appointment, housing specialists are available to assist applicants with completing and submitting a program application. On average, applications take about two hours to complete. For a checklist of documents to bring and more information on the application process, go online to rebuild.nc.gov/apply.
Those who have already applied for the CDBG-DR program do not need to reapply, although they may check on the status of their application by calling 211. Those accepted into the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) do not need to reapply.
Hurricane Matthew made landfall in South Carolina as a Category 1 storm Oct. 8, 2016, eventually coming through Bladen County and causing an estimated $4.8 billion damage statewide to homes, businesses, public facilities, agriculture and roads. Thirty-one deaths were attributed to the storm and its aftermath. Some communities in the state received up to 18 inches of rain and five rivers — the Cape Fear, Lumber, Neuse, Tar and Cashie — flooded and remained at flood stage for two weeks.
Nearly 100,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, 20 dams were breached and more than 660 roads were closed by wind and flooding. Swift water rescues were made for 2,336 people.
While here, Cooper also toured the Bladen County Emergency Services Training Ground, a former state prison.
“I also wanted to come here to see what the county is doing regarding public safety, and emergency management,” Cooper said. “They’re doing an amazing job here taking the old Bladen correctional center, that the state deeded to the county, and now they’re working to do some positive things for emergency management, for law enforcement and for fire protection.”
The 109-acre parcel and facilities were donated earlier this year, an idea attributed to Sgt. Barry Pait and Sgt. Gary Turlington of the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office. Curtis Brown Airfield had formerly served as a training facility.
Gov. Roy Cooper visited the hurricane application center on Thursday. The center recently opened.
Alan Wooten can be reached at 910-247-9132 or email@example.com. Twitter: @alanwooten19.