Gov. Cooper visits Wilmington to talk hurricane recovery

Gov. Cooper visits Wilmington to talk hurricane recovery

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Governor Roy Cooper was in Wilmington on Tuesday to visit locations affected by Hurricane Florence.

Cooper stopped by Randall Library on UNCW’s campus to monitor the school’s recovery after millions of dollars in damages were done. The governor lauded the university’s response in the aftermath of Florence.

“They were able to bring in these mobile units so that they can continue chemistry and biology labs in these mobile units that were pretty good,” Cooper said. “They were able to get their classes done and they didn’t miss a beat. I think that was a very impressive feat to move all of that equipment from the building that had been destroyed and put it in these mobile labs.”

Cooper started his visit at the Wilmington Convention Center to speak at the Wilmington Downtown Annual Meeting at 11:55 a.m.

He then made his way downtown to check on businesses, including Port City Java, Swahili Coast and Desert Rose on N. Front Street, affected by the storm.

“Sometimes when a storm hits, people will have this picture in their mind of something that is destroyed, and I don’t want to go there," Cooper said. "That’s not what happened with Wilmington. As you walk downtown, you see a revitalized downtown, and I even think that they have taken a bad situation and made it better.”

Cooper says affordable housing is a key issue for many people displaced by the storm, and finding permanent housing solutions is imperative if we want to get our economy back in check.

Cooper’s main goal Tuesday was to talk about moving forward and how the state will better prepare for these types of storms in the future. He says long-term goals for the state are raising elevation, such as some areas of I-40 and I-95, buyouts of businesses and homes in flood-prone areas, fixing waste water treatment plants, and making new buildings and updating structures to be more resilient.

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