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PNS Daily Newscast - April 25, 2019 


Multiple sources say Deutsche Bank has begun turning over President Trump's financial documents to New York's A.G. Also on our Thursday rundown: A report on a Catholic hospital that offered contraception for decades, until the Bishop found out. Plus, an oil company loses a round in efforts to frack off the California coast.

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NC Deadline Approaches for Post-Hurricane Repair Assistance

The STEP program provides quick, partial repairs to make homes livable and allow North Carolina hurricane survivors to leave temporary housing. But the deadline for aid is fast approaching. (ucsusa.org)
The STEP program provides quick, partial repairs to make homes livable and allow North Carolina hurricane survivors to leave temporary housing. But the deadline for aid is fast approaching. (ucsusa.org)
January 28, 2019

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The North Carolina Department of Public Safety is encouraging homeowners with damage from Hurricane Florence to return request forms for the Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power program by the deadline of February 1.

The state program helps provide exterior repairs, watertight doors, windows, roofs and entrances at no cost to homeowners. Pamela Saulsby, media relations specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said North Carolina's recovery relief is a partnership to provide assistance to those who need it most.

"We know that this is still a very trying time for so many people,” Saulsby said. “It's been more than four months now since Hurricane Florence made landfall, and there are many people who are on the other side of it. But we are also mindful that there are still so many people in the struggle who still are in need of assistance."

According to the governor's office, 50 homes have been repaired under the STEP program, or the repairs are underway. The program doesn't return a home to its pre-storm condition, but it makes it possible for families to return home while longer-term repairs take place.

The program's cost is being shared by the state and FEMA. The feds have provided more than $1 billion in overall funding for Hurricane Florence survivors.

Saulsby said the FEMA deadline for federal assistance has passed, but STEP is one example of state resources that are still available.

"FEMA can't do everything, and although our resources have been substantial to survivors, they are not infinite,” she said. “So, we embrace a whole-community approach to long-term recovery, because that's where we are now - long-term recovery."

This weekend, federal, state, local, community and faith-based agencies gathered at a summit for hurricane survivors to discuss the recovery efforts and options for assistance. Saulsby said local efforts and programs like STEP are helping residents in the eastern part of the state look toward the future.

"And they're looking now to think about what they can do to prevent this level of destruction and devastation from happening to them and their loved ones again,” she said. “We are partnering not only with state and local governments, but with community-based organizations, with faith-based organizations, to help people with unmet needs."

For information about the North Carolina STEP program, visit ncdps.gov/florencestep.

Reporting by North Carolina News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the Park Foundation.

Antionette Kerr, Public News Service - NC