Florence damage to N Carolina schools could exceed Matthew's

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Damage to North Carolina's public schools from Hurricane Florence already appears to be well exceeding Hurricane Matthew school losses two years ago.

The state's public school insurance fund has already received $40 million in storm damage claims from school districts and community colleges, compared to total of $14 million in claims after Matthew. A Department of Public Instruction official reported the figures Wednesday at the State Board of Education meeting in Raleigh.

Fund director Eileen Townsend told the board that while Matthew claims were mainly for flooding, Florence caused more structural damage with winds and pounding rain.

Townsend says current estimates could change as adjusters reach schools still inaccessible last week because of flooding and road closures. Public schools in seven counties remain closed because of the September hurricane.

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