By Outer Banks Voice on October 10, 2016
An expedited federal disaster declaration for 31 counties has been received by North Carolina, opening the door for further federal assistance to recover from the massive flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew.
Gov. Pat McCrory requested on Sunday an expedited major disaster declaration that will provide additional and immediate federal assistance to the state.
The declaration will help local and state governments augment the costs of responding to the disaster and also help pay to clear and remove storm debris.
Preliminary damage assessments are ongoing to help gather the necessary documentation to apply for additional federal assistance for other counties and to reimburse the cost of damaged infrastructure.
Counties approved for the disaster declaration include: Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Greene, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Lenoir, Nash, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Robeson, Tyrrell, Washington, Wayne and Wilson counties.
The declaration also approved 14 counties for individual assistance to help homeowners and renters repair or replace damaged homes, including Bertie, Beaufort, Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Edgecombe, Hoke, Johnston, Lenoir, Nash, Pitt, Wayne and Wilson counties.
That list is likely to expand in the coming days, as more assessments are submitted to federal agencies.
If you have damage or loss from this disaster, you may complete a FEMA application now even if your county has not been federally declared for Individual Assistance.
The agency said this will help speed up the process if counties are added to a declaration. Your application will be processed if your county is added to a declaration and FEMA determines you are eligible.
In addition, all 100 counties of the state will be eligible for funding to help mitigate future storm damage.
“This expedited declaration will help provide much needed and immediate federal assistance to communities impacted by Hurricane Matthew,” said McCrory. “I want to thank our federal partners for approving this declaration quickly and for their continued assistance.”
Local, state and federal emergency management teams will conduct damage assessments throughout the week while rescue crews continue to search for survivors, and utility crews work to restore power, clear debris and open roadways.