Thousands of North Carolinians are getting word from federal officials that their addresses will be released to the media because they received disaster aid.
The data dump is a result of a lawsuit by news organizations that wanted to see whether the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been a good steward of tax dollars. In June, a court ordered the agency to release the addresses -- but not the names -- of more than 2 million aid recipients, and the agency is now phoning or writing to those recipients to let them know they're affected.
The ruling covers people who were hit by 31 disasters in eight states from 1998 to 2004. In North Carolina, that's more than 156,000 aid recipients, including people who were hit by hurricanes Floyd, Isabel, Ivan and Bonnie, and by Tropical Storm Frances.