Other Affiliation: Development Associate, Self-Help, Durham, NC
In September of 1999. Eastern North Carolina experienced a natural disaster of epic proportions. Flooding as a result of Hurricanes Dennis, Floyd and Irene left entire towns under water. And now, even after the floodwaters have receded, the effects of the disaster are expected to linger for years to come. Unfortunately, it appears that federal funds for disaster relief will not be as much as originally hoped — the total package will only reach $800 million, far from the $1.76 billion which North Carolina elected officials determined was necessary to meet the needs of communities in the East. An example of this shortfall is that an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 flood-affected small businesses and non-profits will not be served by Federal Emergency Management Agency or Small Business Association disaster assistance, which will leave at least a $25 million gap in funding. In addition, the federal relief package failed to include $2 1 million to address child care needs that the governor of North Carolina originally requested.