Whiteville gets $700K grant for Hurricane Matthew recovery

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WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — The Golden Leaf Foundation gave Whiteville more than $700,000 for Hurricane Matthew recovery.

“Whether it happens this year, 10 years from now, 20 years, 50 years from now, it will happen again,” said Whiteville mayor Terry Mann.

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18 months after Hurricane Matthew flooded the city, Whiteville is still recovering. That effort is about to get a boost, thanks to a large grant from the Golden Leaf Foundation.

The funding will be used to improve the city’s existing stormwater system, which could help reduce future flooding.

“Looking at a city like Whiteville, where you’ve got stormwater issues downtown, you’re not gonna be able to attract new businesses downtown if they know it floods and it’s gonna continue to flood,” said Kasey Ginsberg from the Golden Leaf Foundation. “That’s why we felt investing in those stormwater improvements was so critical.”

The money will also cover the cost to replace police cars and public works trucks destroyed during the hurricane.

Mann says this grant is an important first step towards making his city more resistant to big weather events.

“We feel like this is an important place to start and once we start and putting the pieces of the puzzle together, then hopefully down the road, once more funding can be secured or barring more money or however it happens, we’ll be able to really improve the situation,” Mann said.

The mayor said they’ve already bought the new vehicles. The stormwater project should begin in about four months.

Golden Leaf has been involved with hurricane relief efforts in other parts of our area as well. They’re helping rebuild the Oak Island pier as well as projects in Bladen and Columbus Counties.