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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3.1 Million to Protect Businesses from Flooding in Lumberton, North Carolina

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3.1 million grant to the city of Lumberton, North Carolina, to fund construction of a permanent floodgate system to prevent flooding to area businesses. The EDA grant, to be matched with $1 million in local investment, is expected to create 90 jobs, retain 323 jobs, and spur $4.25 million in private investment.

“This EDA investment will protect critical public infrastructure for major industries located in the Lumberton area,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “EDA plays an important role in supporting locally-driven disaster recovery and resiliency plans, and this investment will ensure the local economy continues to thrive in the event of a future flood.”

“This funding will help Lumberton build back stronger, funding critical infrastructure that will help improve the quality of life for Robeson County and the businesses protected by the floodgate,” said Governor Roy Cooper.

“I have made hurricane recovery and resiliency a chief priority ever since Hurricane Matthew devastated Eastern North Carolina,” said Senator Thom Tillis. “Following Hurricane Florence, I worked directly with Lumberton officials to understand their needs and advocated on their behalf to secure the funding necessary to protect the community from future damage. Today I’m proud to announce this $3.1 million grant, which is critical for ensuring a safe environment for small business owners and workers. The construction of a permanent floodgate system will create jobs and opportunities for the Lumberton community, and offer protection from future major flooding events. I look forward to seeing its positive impact on the local economy.”

“Providing disaster assistance in response to the devastating effects of Hurricane Florence has been a top priority of mine since I took office,” said Congressman Dan Bishop (NC-09). “The Economic Development Administration’s grant puts the City of Lumberton and Robeson County one step closer to recovery and bolsters its resilience against future disasters.”

This project will involve installing two flood gates at the abutments of the I-95 bridge to prevent the Lumber River from flooding into the city. In the event of a future hurricane or other natural disaster, local businesses will have the confidence to stay in the area and keep their firms operational.

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Southeastern Economic Development Commission, which EDA funds to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.

This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20) (PDF), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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