ELIZABETHTOWN – Bladen County and representatives from the North Carolina Emergency Management office are working together to determine if homeowners and business owners are eligible to receive hazard mitigation grants under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
Designed to protect lives and property from future disaster, this program eligibility will be discussed at community intake meetings March 7, March 8 and March 9 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m, located at the Emergency Service Office, 5853 U.S. 701 North in Elizabethtown.
Bladen County and NCEM officials will speak with property owners whose homes or businesses incurred damage as a result of Hurricane Matthew. In addition to flooding from Hurricane Matthew, any home that is prone to flooding could be eligible to receive one of the three types of program assistance. The three options include the acquisition, or “buyout,” of these homes. The home is then demolished and the land is deeded to the local government.
An additional option is structural elevation or “house raising” to prevent future flooding. Finally, the grants could cover mitigation reconstruction, or “demolish and rebuild.” This includes the construction of an improved, code-compliant, and elevated home on the same site where the existing home has been partially or completely destroyed due to flooding.
All Bladen County homeowners and business owners who are interested in applying for assistance should plan to attend one of the intake meetings.
Interested applicants must bring homeowner’s insurance information, particularly flood insurance documents. Officials at the intake meeting will work with homeowners to provide all other necessary documentation.
Business owners could also be eligible to receive assistance but will be included in a separate tier of funding.
Attending an intake meeting is the first and most important step in the application process. Interested applicants that are not able to attend an intake meeting must contact Kimberly Talbert at Emergency Services by April 15 to be included in the grant application.
For more information on the intake meetings or application process, residents of Bladen County should call 910-862-6761 Monday-Wednesday.