fix

Here’s how NC plans to fix a third of the $1.5 billion in remaining Florence damage

More than 12,000 homeowners and 3,500 renters who suffered damage during Hurricane Florence in 2018 are still awaiting repairs or assistance, according to an unmet needs analysis prepared by the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency.

The state received a $542.6 million disaster relief grant from the federal government to address damage done by Florence. The office, which administers disaster relief grants, noted in a press release this week that the Federal Register notice letting them know how that money can be used was published exactly 500 days after the hurricane made landfall.

Laura Hogshead, the agency’s chief operating officer, said that in administering a $236.5 million Hurricane Matthew grant, the state has created programs and learned lessons that will allow it to more quickly get Florence recovery dollars to people who need them.

“We just need applications to move through the process,” Hogshead said. “We need permission from

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Californians backed a gas tax to fix roads. What will coronavirus mean for highway projects?

California voters two years ago emphatically endorsed a plan to speed highway and transportation projects when they supported at the ballot box a package of gas taxes and vehicles fees.

But the cororonavirus outbreak looks likely to jeopardize those plans.

Traffic volume on state highways has plunged dramatically in California since Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home order last month. As a result, Californians are buying much less gas and paying less tax. Suddenly the state’s ambitious program to improve those roads faces an uncertain future.

The anticipated plunge in tax revenue is roiling transportation projects around the country. Congress and the White House are being pushed hard by the state transportation officials’ Washington-based group to provide states with $49.95 billion in federal aid.

Lawmakers are starting to discuss a new economic aid package — a goal with an endgame still weeks away — but transportation officials are hoping

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