Cooper Proposes $1.5 Billion For Florence Relief
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper recommended $1.5 billion be set aside for Hurricane Florence relief and preparations for future weather-related events at a press conference today in Raleigh.
Cooper says the preliminary estimate of damage from Florence is $13 billion.
His budget recommendations include, at the high end, $200 million for a Farmer Recovery Reinvestment Program and would also include $88 million for flood-mapping projects and flood mitigation studies as well as other planning efforts.
“We know that flood mapping, monitoring, preparation, early warnings and evacuation and rescues saved countless lives,” Cooper said.
Other budget items would help repair damaged buildings and homes, give mental health services and provide emergency funding for public schools.
There’s also an item for $75 million in hog farm buyouts and incentives to convert open lagoons. During Hurricane Florence, some open lagoons were breached and spilled into waterways.
Congress already has approved $1 billion for North Carolina's recovery. The governor says his request wouldn't require higher taxes - initial money would come from the state's savings reserve and money unspent in this year's budget.
The General Assembly will reconvene on Monday to figure out how much aid to provide North Carolinians.