By Maggie Sperry
Hurricane Matthew hit the Caribbean on Sep. 25 leaving a path of destruction all the way to the Southeast U.S. The storm finally moved away from the U.S. on Oct. 9 and became post-tropical. There was about $1.5 billion in damage and at least 26 people died during the storms in North Carolina.
After the hurricane passed, NC, particularly around Fayetteville, experienced some major flooding and heavy rainfall. The clean up from all the damage has been long and hard for all involved. Many houses and buildings have been redone along with many roads and bridges.
Road workers have found both major and minor damages but the overall damage was severe. There was a chunk of interstate taken away on Interstate 40 and Interstate 95. In both cases the repair will take months, with Interstate 95 just recently being opened early this November.
Many people were also without electricity for a time after the hurricane, although that was, for the most part, quickly fixed. There were also people without water being supplied to their houses for weeks after the hurricane. This has since been repaired with help from the state and federal government.
Latasha Wilkins, North Carolina resident, was one of those affected by the storm. Her and her children were forced to evacuate their rental home during the storm, they were able to find shelter in a gym. She said she kept herself busy by assisting Red Cross by handing out clothes, food, and water.
“I’ve been serving, helping the people even in the midst of my own storm. I have three kids, they are 20, 14 and 7, and they have been here right along with me. But this is not the first time we have lost something — so we have been more of a positive to everyone else,” Wilkins stated during a CNN interview.
After the hurricane, many countries helped with repairs to local governments. Then Governor, McCrory, stated that the federal government has disbursed around $2.6 million to families affected by Matthew. The federal government has also given about five million dollars to help repair highways.
“North Carolina is resilient, our people are strong and we are going to get through this together. This storm is still impacting people in a big way. You have got to see it to believe all the devastation that has occurred,” stated McCroy.
The economic cost is said to be between four to six billion dollars, according to Corelogic, a research consulting firm. This price does not include losses related to additional flooding, business contents and interruption. It was also stated that 90 percent of the insurance claims will be related to wind and ten percent to storm surge. For North Carolina, it was estimated that the damage will cost about $1.5 million for property alone, according to ABC News.
Also, before Hurricane Matthew, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security stated that they would be cracking down on the Haitian immigrants coming into the U.S illegally. It was also said that they would be terminating the special immigrant policy the Haitians have had since the earthquake in 2010. The new policy will say that Haitians unable to show they had been persecuted or feared persecution at their home will be deported. But after Hurricane Matthew there was a halt in the deportation of Haitians, and many are calling for the U.S. to assist more.
Many are calling for an end to any non-criminal deportation, and some want to reinstate their special status, to allow them to stay in the U.S. temporarily. But John Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security has stated that deportations will continue since Haiti has gotten better since the 2010 Earthquake.
The effects of Hurricane Matthew continue throughout the U.S. and in North Carolina. There have been steps taken to help the people and areas affected by the storm and they will continue being helped as long as needed.
Photo Courtesy of The New York Times