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Pasquotank property owners get $900K in flood relief

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By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Pasquotank County property owners will receive more than $900,000 to elevate or buy their properties, including three properties in the flood-prone Oxford Heights subdivision of Elizabeth City.

State and federal Hazard Mitigation Grants will buy out five flood-prone properties and elevate the house on a sixth property, according to a North Carolina Emergency Management press release.

Pasquotank residents are getting the grants in the fourth award of the grants in response to Hurricane Matthew, the storm that blew across eastern North Carolina in October 2016, causing historic flooding, including in Pasquotank.

Already $21.6 million in grants have been awarded to 150 properties statewide, including in Camden. 

Pasquotank-Camden Emergency Management Coordinator Christy Saunders said a grant totaling $114,272 will pay to elevate 1384 Blindman Road, a property just off U.S. Highway 158 in northern Pasquotank. Other grants totaling $809,000 will be used to acquire five properties, three of them in the flood-prone Oxford Heights neighborhood off Hughes Boulevard. The Oxford Heights properties are 416 and 500 Bonner Drive and 1815 Providence Road.

The grants will also buy the property at 108 Marion Avenue, off U.S. Highway 17 South near Evangelical Methodist Church, and 852 U.S. 158 in northern Pasquotank.

Saunders' information did not break down how much would be spent to acquire each property.

The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program buys properties when they're so vulnerable to flooding that no one should reside there. The buyouts should help residents relocate, though state officials who met with county residents last year didn't guarantee the grants would match what they paid for the properties.

Once the properties are acquired, the homes will be demolished.

Attempts to contact residents of the affected properties weren't successful Tuesday.

Saunders also explained Pasquotank residents were fortunate to have received aid. The state got 3,000 applications for Hazard Mitigation grants, ultimately submitting about 800 of them for grant funding to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. There's still more need than funding available, she said.

Saunders also said Pasquotank has no pending Hazard Mitigation grants now, though Camden County still does. Camden properties also won grants in the prior round of funding.

The state press release also states emergency management officials hope to award a total of $115 million in Hazard Mitigation Grants by early August.

In a separate release, emergency management officials also encouraged North Carolinians to apply for Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds, which can help low- and moderate-income families recover from Hurricane Matthew.

The release asks those wishing to apply do so through application centers. There are centers open in Cumberland, Edgecombe, Robeson and Wayne counties, with additional centers to open in Bertie, Columbus, Lenoir and Pender counties. Exact times and places are still being finalized.

To learn more about the application process, visit rebuild.nc.gov/apply.

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