Congressman Pittenger tours neighborhoods recovering from Hurricane Matthew

Congressman Pittenger tours neighborhoods recovering from Hurricane Matthew

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Congressman Robert Pittenger toured Bladen County communities still recovering from Hurricane Matthew Wednesday morning.

Pulling up to a single-family home, the sight wasn't anything out of the ordinary. But taking a closer look, one could see the windows were propped up and the family wouldn't be home anytime soon.

"A lot of folks are still out of their homes, a lot of them out of their homes are still paying mortgages," Bradley Kinlaw, director of emergency services, said.

The county should see money coming in from a hazard mitigation grant, but Kinlaw said the wait has been longer than expected.

"We started back in the fall and it could be November, December this year before we see any dollars roll in to help some of these folks," Kinlaw said.

Standing in front of the abandoned home, Pittenger said he is working with legislators in the nation's capital to help the county.

"We are working on a pipeline of $198 million that will go back to the state of North Carolina," Pittenger said. "There is a lot of money in the pipeline. We are working with the chairman of appropriations of current funding and funding for 2018."

Pittenger said the money will address unmet needs in infrastructure, roads and home restoration. Kinlaw said the county's rivers could benefit from these funds. He said trees still lay in the rivers and could pose flood risks if they aren't removed.

"We are not done yet. That's why I'm here," Pittenger said. "We need to be responsive and we are going to be further responsive to the needs of the good folks in Bladen County."

Pittenger recently joined a conference call with Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson to ask for additional funding to help the county recover.

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