New Bern, N.C., to Receive $2 Million More in Recovery Funds

The $2 million funding round comes through FEMA's Public Assistance program and will reimburse New Bern for work to restore electricity after the hurricane, including replacing damaged utility poles and transformers.

by Todd Wetherington, Sun Journal, New Bern, N.C. / December 16, 2019
(TNS) — The City of New Bern has announced it will receive more that $2 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State of North Carolina to reimburse the City for damages incurred during Hurricane Florence.

In September, FEMA approved more than $5 million to the city for Hurricane Florence-related cleanup expenses, bringing total FEMA funding for Hurricane damages in New Bern to more than $7 million.

The latest $2 million funding round comes through FEMA's Public Assistance program and will reimburse New Bern for work to restore electricity following the hurricane, which included replacing damaged utility poles and transformers.

FEMA's Public Assistance program provides grants for state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations to reimburse the cost of debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent repair work.

Public Assistance is a cost-sharing program. FEMA reimburses applicants at least 75 percent of eligible costs, and the remaining 25 percent is covered by the state. The federal share is paid directly to the state, which disburses funds to agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations that incurred costs.

FEMA's share for this project is more than $1.5 million, with the state contributing approximately $514,000.

New Bern City Manager Mark Stephens said there were approximately 290 claims for damages throughout the city following Hurricane Florence, many related to stormwater-related issues. According to Stephens, more than 20 municipally-owned buildings were damaged in the storm. The city suffered more than $100 million in structural damage, both residential and commercial, while approximately 20 city streets were impacted.

Across Craven County, more than $200 million in structural damage was sustained as a result of Hurricane Florence, according to County Manager Jack Veit. In total, 301 commercial buildings and 4,658 residential structures were damaged as a result of wind, rain and storm surge from the hurricane, at an estimated cost of $195,947,600.

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