Meetings held across East to help communities rebuild from Matthew

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Resiliency meetings were held across the east to help communities rebuild from Hurricane Matthew.

Pitt, Craven, and Lenoir counties held the third and final round of their public forums.

These meetings are a result of the Disaster Recovery Act passed in the North Carolina legislature.

Wednesday night’s session was supposed to allow residents to hear the plan set to be presented in May but many found confusion.

Lenoir County emergency planner Samuel Kornegay said he wants to make the difference between resiliency programs and FEMA buyout very clear.

“The resiliency meeting is state and local, the buyout is a federal program,” said Kornegay. “A legislature signed into act that all the counties that were affected by Hurricane Matthew had to go through a plan to see what was needed in the county.”

Tuesday night’s resiliency meeting was different from FEMA aid.

Kornegay said, “The buyout process is more of a national government sort of grant funding.”

People in attendance weren’t comfortable being interviewed but said they’re confused on where help is coming from.

Kornegay said, “The federal government is working on the housing situation so it’s two separate entities that are trying to pick both the housing and the community approach.”

Kory Wilmot works with AECOM, the contracted third party to help organize the needs of communities.

Wilmot said, “We’re looking at the big picture of the whole community and how they can recover or move forward in a way that’s directing people and giving them more options.”

AECOM presented solutions in four categories of economy, housing, infrastructure, and environment.

Wilmot said “These programs are meant to supplement individual programs that people might be going through like FEMA or buyout programs or elevating their home.”

Kornegay said people need to know FEMA buyout and resiliency plans are not connected.

Kornegay, “So far there is no money that has been set aside for this. But if there is that’s a separate pot of money than the buyout process.”

The FEMA buyout deadline is May 1, and there is still time to provide feedback to the resiliency plan.

AECOM will also be accepting feedback until May 1.

If you would like to provide feedback for the plan you can do so by clicking here

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