Gov. Cooper visits Bertie Co., talks Matthew recovery efforts

WINDSOR, N.C. (WNCT) — Gov. Roy Cooper visited Bertie County Tuesday and promised to fight for more funding as some residents are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew flooding nine months ago.

Cooper is still battling over the budget specifics with the General Assembly.

“There’s not enough money for all of the buyouts and most of the money is designated to go to four counties, so we’re going to be fighting for additional money,” Cooper said.

During a meeting with emergency and town officials in Windsor Tuesday, Gov. Cooper promised to take a bipartisan approach to fight for that funding.

He also had a big announcement for the town of Windsor.

“We are announcing grants today of over a half a million dollars to build a new EMS building here,” Cooper said.

The old EMS building was destroyed in the flooding.

“This is a shot in the arm in Bertie County,” said John Trent, Bertie County Board of Commissioners Chairman. “Quite frankly, this is the kind of news that we have been waiting for.”

After that meeting, Cooper toured areas hard hit by the storm. One stop was at Duane Jones’s house, which was flooded during both Julia in September and Matthew in October.

“I’m just running out of resources, and I can’t do it myself,” Jones said.

9OYS first talked to Jones back in September after flooding from Julia severely damaged his home.

Matthew hit just a few weeks later, leaving several feet of water in his house.

“It’s like you want to try to get it out, or save it or salvage it, and there’s nothing you can do,” Jones said. “And even if you could, you couldn’t get out of town with it.”

Jones, like many others in the East, are waiting to hear whether their homes can be bought out so they can move out of harm’s way. He hopes the state can help those impacted more.

“Really haven’t seen a whole lot from North Carolina,” said Jones. “I’ve seen it from FEMA, from federal, but I haven’t seen any help from North Carolina.”

Before leaving Jones’s house, Governor Cooper put him in contact with emergency management officials.

Governor Cooper said he hopes to announce more buy-out money in the near future.

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