Pitt-Greenville Airport gets grant for Matthew repairs

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The road to recovery continues in eastern North Carolina as this week marks six months since Hurricane Matthew hit the area.

After devastating floods, many cities and towns are just starting to receive recovery grants from the state, allowing them to finally repair and rebuild.

The Pitt-Greenville Airport is one of seven communities receiving the first round of state grants to repair what was damaged.

The airport is receiving more than $1.6 million through the Rural Economic Development Division to replace the taxi lanes.

The pavement was submerged for seven days.

Pre-existing cracks expanded and now the pavement is starting to break apart, which can damage an aircraft and make it unsafe to fly.

“The little rocks can be ingested into a jet engine, and they can damage and destroy the engine,” said Betty Stansbury, the airport’s executive director. “And if the engine fails as the aircraft is taking off, it compromises the aircrafts ability to fly, and it can be fatal for the occupants in the aircraft.”

Steps are being taken to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Replacing the taxi lanes costs an estimated $1.6 million.

They expect to have the taxi lanes replaced by next October on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Matthew.

The town of Ayden is also receiving a grant for more than $266,000.

Several other communities in the state are getting funds as well.

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