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According to Wilmington's Star News, the North Carolina legislature voted unanimously to spend approximately $850 million for Hurricane Florence relief and allocated $398.4 million of that amount. “This will not be the last bill we do,” said Republican state Sen. Brent Jackson of Sampson County, which is still suffering from the effects of storm.

The money will be used to clear debris and repair or rebuild homes, schools and farms. “Since the storm, I’ve been in constant communication with New Hanover County leaders and my colleagues in the Senate to make sure everything that can be done is being done,” said the bill’s sponsor, N.C. Sen. Michael Lee.

Republican state Rep. Bob Muller, who serves coastal Pender and Onslow counties, said schools in his district still are closed and have mold and mildew that needs to be cleared. The storm heavily damaged many of his constituents’ homes, he said.

The bill has $33 million for several housing assistance and repair programs. It has $28 million to assist local governments with recovery. Some lawmakers from storm-affected areas said they would like to see more efforts than this package included. The state needs to clear debris from waterways in an effort to reduce potential future flooding, said Democratic state Rep. Charles Graham from hard-hit Robeson County.

State Rep. Elmer Floyd of Fayetteville said North Carolina should look at building canals to capture and move high water past areas that have been prone to flooding. Floyd said that might have helped as the Cape Fear River in Fayetteville rose to near-record heights and flooded nearby property, he said.

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