North Carolina Governor Begs Trump To End Shutdown So State Can Use Hurricane Aid
The state’s farming economy is in peril as Hurricane Florence relief remains tied up, Gov. Roy Cooper told the president.
By Hayley Miller, Huffington Post
Jan 9, 2019
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) on Wednesday implored President Donald Trump to end the partial government shutdown in order to unlock funds meant to help the battered state recover from a destructive hurricane season.
The shutdown, which began Dec. 22, poses a significant risk to North Carolina’s farming economy and its ability to rebuild after deadly Hurricane Florence pummeled the state in September, Cooper wrote in a letter to the president.
“The people of North Carolina are strong and are working hard to rebuild,” Cooper wrote. “But we are equally determined to hold the federal government to its promise of help.”
“During your visit following Hurricane Florence, you promised me the 100 percent support of the federal government in North Carolina’s recovery,” the letter continued. “This shutdown makes that promise harder to keep. Please work with Congressional leaders to end this shutdown so our communities can rebuild quickly and effectively.”
Florence left 41 people dead in North Carolina and dumped an estimated 8 trillion gallons of water, flooding homes and businesses across the state. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in September designated $1.68 billion for states impacted by 2018 storms, but hasn’t notified those states about how much funding they will receive, Cooper wrote.
Additionally, HUD awarded North Carolina $168 million last April to make the state’s flood-prone areas safer, but the state is unable to use those funds until guidance is published in the Federal Register, which cannot happen during a shutdown, the governor added.
“The government shutdown is also threatening the livelihood of our farmers, many of whom were swamped by the same hurricane waters that destroyed homes and businesses,” Cooper wrote. “Help from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for hurricane affected farms is unavailable, and farmers hoping to plan for this year’s planting season are running out of time.”
North Carolina farmers and livestock producers suffered an estimated $1.1 billion in losses due to Florence, which killed at least 5,500 hogs and 4.1 million chickens and turkeys, the state’s Department of Agriculture announced in September...
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