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Perdue seeks disaster help for Halifax County flood victims

Posted August 31, 2012

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— Gov. Beverly Perdue signed a disaster declaration Friday to free up state relief money for victims of floods in Halifax County last weekend.

Perdue also has sent a letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration seeking federal disaster relief funds. If approved, homeowners, renters and business owners could qualify for low-interest loans or grants to help them recover from the flooding.

About 11.5 inches of rain fell in the Roanoke Rapids area over seven hours last Saturday, damaging more than 150 homes and businesses, shutting down Interstate 95 for several hours and sending more than 50 residents to shelters.

Local and state emergency management teams began initial damage surveys Monday and met with SBA staff Wednesday to continue damage assessment. Teams looked at about 75 homes and businesses in Roanoke Rapids, Gaston and Weldon and other areas in Halifax and Northampton counties, as well as damaged roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

Linda Carter's home on Carolina Avenue in Roanoke Rapids was among the inundated properties.

"It hurts to see that everything that you've done in your life – everything that you've worked for – is gone," Carter said Friday as her possessions were carted out of the house in a wheelbarrow and piled in the front yard.

Perdue toured some of the damaged homes and businesses before signing the disaster declaration.

"I see the 40 or 50 families that have lost everything. Everything that they have is piled in a ditch along the side of the road. For those people, the world as they know it has changed," she said.

Roanoke Rapids floods Disaster money to help Roanoke Rapids recover from floods

"This isn't the worst disaster that's ever happened in North Carolina's history," she continued, "but the reality is, for any community and any citizen who loses everything or has nearly everything they have destroyed or unusable, it's a major disaster."

The state disaster declaration will help flood victims who don't qualify for SBA money, officials said.

Some homeowners, including Tim Strickland, said they want to see more than loans.

"There's no way that we can take a loan from the government to rebuild our houses that we still have mortgages on," Strickland said.

He said he believes the area will flood again in the future, and he wants the government to offer buyouts for properties. State officials said buyouts are available only where the president has declared a disaster area, so funding is not available.

Carter said she's glad to see any help.

"It's time for something to be done," she said.

Anyone affected by the flooding is asked to register with their county emergency management department.

9 Comments

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  • piene2 Aug 31, 2012

    "These people needs help and NOW! whatelseinew you need to show a little compassion. What would you do if water was above your head or house? The state of NC can help and should. Purdue give it your all in helping these people. No concern yourself with those negative people.
    charmcclainlovesdogs2"

    If it costs the posters here a nickle or dime they would rather let the people drown.

  • harmstrong4 Aug 31, 2012

    where has Gov been? been months since she has been around. Took a disaster to bring her out...

  • mpnkosovo Aug 31, 2012

    Charm yet again your dem prez is sitting in texas while Mitt is in LA and the prez is not going there for 3 more days. Looks like your idea back fired.

  • YippiYiyoKiYay Aug 31, 2012

    charmcclainlovesdogs2......Hilarious.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Aug 31, 2012

    if a Republican waited

    I sincerely doubt the republicans would have done anything at all. But the democrates would have been on the ball and do something and Purdue will do exactly that. So support her in helping these people. Gosh! it could have been us.

  • mpnkosovo Aug 31, 2012

    Another Dem waits a week to do something and no real out cry but if a Republican waited oh heck the flood gates would have opened it would would have been a national media feeding frenzy. Sorry for any spelling error.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Aug 31, 2012

    These people needs help and NOW! whatelseinew you need to show a little compassion. What would you do if water was above your head or house? The state of NC can help and should. Purdue give it your all in helping these people. No concern yourself with those negative people.

  • dgcreech Aug 31, 2012

    I think that the City of Roanoke Rapids needs to pay out a substantial amount of money here. They are the ones that sent notices out to everyone, encouraging them to cancel their flood insurance as it was no longer needed.

  • whatelseisnew Aug 31, 2012

    The State does not have money to give away. It has significant debt that needs to be paid off before money is handed out.