The National Park Service has awarded North Carolina’s State Historic Preservation Office more than $17 million to rebuild and repair damage caused by Hurricanes Florence and Michael in 2018.
The $17,070,769 award is part of $47.8 million in emergency supplemental assistance grants Department of the Interior announced Monday for the recovery and repair of historic resources in areas affected in 2018 by the two hurricanes and Typhoon Yutu. In addition to North Carolina, awards were announced for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, the Northern Mariana Islands, South Carolina and Virginia for various historic preservation projects related to hurricane and typhoon recovery efforts.
“The Department of the Interior is committed to assisting impacted communities with recovery efforts as they work to repair and preserve significant historic resources,” said Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. “The grant funding, which is derived from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf, allows us to safeguard these unique historic places, so they may endure for future generations.”
Michele Walker, state Department of Natural and Cultural Resources public information officer, told Coastal Review Online that the funding is from a recently passed federal law.
The $17 million allocated to North Carolina is for repair and restoration of properties listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places damaged by hurricanes Florence or Michael and located in FEMA-declared counties.
“The funds also support surveys of historic resources, administration of the grants and other state costs of the program,” she said.
The department anticipates spending the funds on bricks and mortar projects for properties listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places in FEMA declared counties that were damaged by either Hurricane Florence or Michael; preservation planning and historic architectural and archaeological survey projects; and there’s plans for a related grant opportunity in 2020.
“We hope to have more details from the National Park Service in coming days,” Walker said.
“Preserving historic resources is a critical component in the National Park Service’s mission to share the story of our nation,” said National Park Service Deputy Director David Vela. “These grants will provide assistance to many communities affected by the intense storms of 2018, so they can repair damaged historic properties and buildings.”
“As North Carolina’s sole appropriator, I am pleased that the National Park Service has committed nearly $50 million to rebuild historic resources in communities affected by recent storms. Historic sites serve as anchors in communities across North Carolina–providing a glimpse into our collective cultural history. These funds will be vital in ensuring the resiliency of important historic sites as we prepare for future natural disasters,” said Rep. David Price, D-N.C.
“Historic sites and structures across North Carolina have been damaged by recent hurricanes and many are still in need of significant repair and restoration. I’m pleased the Department is moving forward with the disbursement of appropriations by Congress for this very purpose,” said Rep. David Rouzer, R-N.C.
Congress appropriated the funding from the Historic Preservation Fund, which was established in 1977, to provide relief for historic preservation projects in areas affected by natural disasters. The fund uses revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf to help with preservation projects.