RALEIGH, N.C. -- As part of acquisition programs funded by the state of North Carolina and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Lenoir and Johnston counties and the cities of Farmville, Kinston, Tarboro and Wilson will receive a total of $32.8 million to purchase 566 homes damaged by flooding caused by Hurricanes Floyd and Irene.
After purchasing the homes, the local governments will maintain the land as open space on which no structures can be built. In many cases, governments destroy the homes and create a green space for public use.
Individuals participating in an acquisition program use the money from the sale of their homes to purchase new housing outside of the floodplain. Homeowner participation in the program is voluntary.
The acquisition programs are part of FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which helps communities damaged by a natural disaster reduce damage from future disasters. "By moving homeowners out of a region which is likely to be flooded again, the acquisition program ultimately reduces the cost to the nation of responding to and helping people recover from disasters," said Carlos Mitchell, FEMA's federal coordinating officer.
Only homes located in a designated special flood hazard area are eligible for an acquisition program. Communities participating in the program must be members of the National Flood Insurance Program.
Persons wanting to learn more about acquisition programs in their communities should contact their local officials. Communities submit a proposal for an acquisition project to the state, which reviews the proposal and forwards it to FEMA. If the proposal is approved, local government officials carry out the project, which is funded by FEMA and the state.
All affected by North Carolina's recent hurricanes who have not yet registered for disaster assistance are urged to call the FEMA Registration Hotline before the deadline of Thursday, Feb. 17. Call 1-800-462-9029 (TTY 1-800-462-7585), Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.