State starts waiting list for Irene appliance replacement funds

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Within a few days, North Carolina families and small businesses have reserved all money available in a program to replace appliances damaged by Hurricane Irene.

Gov. Bev Perdue announced Friday that $1.4 million in federal money was available for energy-efficient replacements. The money was reserved by Tuesday morning for nearly 3,000 appliances. A waiting list has opened in case more money becomes available.

The program was available to people living in 37 counties, including Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender, designated by the state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency as disaster areas.

More than 1,200 refrigerators are being replaced through the program, the most of any appliance. Also being replaced are hundreds of clothes washers, dishwashers and freezers.

Among the items covered: one solar water heater.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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This program just reeks of fraud potential. Don't people carry insurance on their homes or rentals? I wonder how many people will be getting an appliance upgrade courtesy of taxpayer dollars. I just don't get it. I can see where the government would step in and provide emergency shelter, food, and water, but cannot fathom why folks would think the government is on the hook to replace their appliances. Wasteful!

I couldn't agree more. That was my very first thought. Look what happened with the food stamp program in Pender County after Katrina. (was it Pender or Brunswick?) Everyone's looking for a hand out, and we're all paying for it. Makes me sick!