Aftermath: North Carolina hurricane victims still feel left behind years later

WRAL Documentary investigates why victims of Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Florence are still waiting to go home.
Posted 2022-12-09T15:41:20+00:00 - Updated 2022-12-15T19:54:57+00:00

Over the past decade, North Carolina residents have been hit with devastating hurricanes, and some are still dealing with the aftermath. It’s been six years since Hurricane Matthew made landfall, and four years since Hurricane Florence caused catastrophic flooding and damage across the state.

You may be shocked to learn thousands of homeowners are still waiting to go home. Many of them of stuck in motels have no access to any of their belongings, and some of them tragically died waiting for answers.

The WRAL Documentary team investigates what happened to these hurricane victims in our latest documentary "Aftermath: North Carolina Hurricane Victims Left Behind."

All of these North Carolinians signed up for a state program called ReBuild NC, meant to help low-income homeowners recover from the effects of the storm.

ReBuild NC oversees $800 million of your taxpayer dollars that are meant to get these residents back into a safe place to live, but missteps and delays have plagued the state agency for years. Investigative reporter Cristin Severance and photojournalist Jay Jennings interviewed the homeowners stuck in limbo, the officials in charge of ReBuild NC, Governor Roy Cooper and the lawmakers tasked with investigating what went wrong.

“The story is that Rebuild, North Carolina has bungled this program and left thousands of people homeless who are hurricane survivors,” said Lisa Sorg with NC Policy Watch. “These residents have already had sustained incredible trauma and no one is helping them.”

“You can’t help but feel these people have been forgotten,” said Severance. “They are living in one-room motel rooms, some of them for years, with no kitchen or way to make meals. Many have serious health problems that are only getting worse. They want answers, action and they just want to go home."

"Aftermath: North Carolina Hurricane Victims Left Behind" shines a light on what’s happened to these homeowners and pushes leaders for answers.

How and where to watch "Aftermath: North Carolina Hurricane Victims Left Behind":

Premieres on WRAL-TV on Tuesday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Rebroadcast on WRAZ FOX50 on Saturday, December 17 at 5 p.m.

Rebroadcast on WILM-TV in Wilmington on Saturday, December 17 at 6 p.m.

Available for on-demand viewing on, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, and Samsung Smart TV beginning Tuesday, December 13 7:30 p.m.

The documentary will premiere on WRAL’s YouTube on Tuesday, December 13 at 8 p.m.

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