Hurricane Frances Damage Claims Being Audited in Bladen County, N.C.

July 18, 2005

Almost a year after remnants of Hurricane Frances dropped less than 2 inches of rain in Bladen County, N.C. Federal authorities are auditing $2.7 in federal disaster aid received by 1,200 residents to determine if they fraudulently applied for Federal Emergency Management Agency grants.

An analysis of the payments was reported by The Fayetteville Observer, which said the amount is more than went to most mountain counties, where as much as 18 inches of rain wrecked hundreds of homes, spurred landslides and devastated entire towns.

Along with neighboring Columbus, Robeson and Cumberland counties, more than half of the $11.5 million in FEMA funds for Frances were sent to eastern counties where there was modest damage.

About 2,200 North Carolinians have applied for state housing dollars. The state is preparing to send more money to the southeastern N.C. region from a $250 million fund intended to help homeowners repair or replace their hurricane-battered dwellings.

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