State News

Two NC counties added to federal disaster list

Posted September 1, 2011
Updated September 2, 2011

— The federal government on Thursday expanded the disaster area in North Carolina after Hurricane Irene to include Halifax and Lenoir counties, Gov. Beverly Perdue said.

Meanwhile, the damage estimate from the weekend storm continues to mount.

President Obama on Wednesday approved Perdue's initial request for individual assistance for Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico and Tyrrell counties.

“We continue to aggressively pursue any and all avenues to help survivors of Hurricane Irene get back on their feet,” Perdue said in a statement. “I am committed to ensuring that the relief and recovery efforts occur as rapidly and seamlessly as possible.”

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help recover from the effects of the disaster. Applicants can contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency by going online or calling toll-free 800-621-3362.

The government also approved 20 counties to its disaster declaration for public assistance, which helps local governments with the costs of responding to the storm, as well as cleaning debris and repairing infrastructure.

The counties seeking public aid for storm recovery are Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Halifax, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Tyrrell and Wilson.

Representatives from FEMA and the state Division of Emergency Management were going door-to-door in hard-hit counties to make sure that renters, homeowners and small business owners know about available disaster assistance programs and to identify unmet needs. Team members will also meet with representatives of community and faith-based agencies, community leaders and public officials.

Perdue's office says more counties may be added to both disaster-aid lists.

Local governments coping with the after-effects of Hurricane Irene say their costs for removing debris and making repairs will be about $40 million, pushing the statewide damage estimate to nearly $150 million.

Perdue said Tuesday that a preliminary estimate of damage hit more than $71 million.

Officials said Wednesday that Martin County estimated some $37 million in damage to crops, especially tobacco and cotton.

Farmers in Edgecombe County told Perdue Thursday that most of the local tobacco crop was damaged by Irene, and they asked for her help landing money to recover the losses.

Burt Pitt said he was able to harvest about 20 acres of his tobacco near Pinetops by continuing to work in the rain as Irene rolled in last weekend. Another 100 acres of tobacco leaves were shredded and turned yellow and brown.

Tarboro tobacco grower Richard Anderson asked Perdue to get help from the federal and state governments.

While visiting a tobacco farm, the governor signed an executive order to make it easier for state crews to remove storm debris from farms and for farmers to burn storm-related trash.


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  • vraptor Sep 1, 2011

    Maybe we can send gov purd to DC for Captain Clueless jobs Speech. 1st he scheduled on the same day as the R's debate on Wed. So el capiton moved his speech to Th. Didn't anyone tell him that is the opening day for the NFL??? Another conflict... Lets see your social security #? Didn't you know that the 1st few digits indicated the state where it was issued. Can you say CT for his SSN???

  • carolinarox Sep 1, 2011

    Strange. I remember her and Nagin saying over and over again in news conferences they didn't need help, then switching gears when news of the chaos and death at the Superdome got out.
    RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman

    Well I'd question your memory before I would the official Bush White House Lessons Learned document that states Gov. Blanco requested federal help on 8/27/2005. There are several other sources that also contain the same information and I hardly think either Nagin or Blanco were in personal contact with you.

  • oleguy Sep 1, 2011

    What about a white male just turned 65, I worked all my life ,well just the part up to now,, I need a little extra also,, I guess we need to become illegal,,, Get two last names, work under one, and draw a check under the other, I have seen it. Female with 3 kids, and a live in,,, Drawing a check from out of state, Working here under married name, drawing a check in NC under her single name for a kid living out of state.
    But the govt. agencys dont care because they have a job.
    Makes Me sick

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Sep 1, 2011

    carolinarox - "Item #45 from the White House Lessons Learned from Katrina states that Gov. Blanco requested federal assistance on 8/27/2005."

    Strange. I remember her and Nagin saying over and over again in news conferences they didn't need help, then switching gears when news of the chaos and death at the Superdome got out.

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Sep 1, 2011

    Better ad Wake County. Progress Energy is losing 700-1000 jobs there.

  • Vita Brevis Ars Longa Sep 1, 2011

    Durham County ( and city) should be on a permanent "disaster list".

  • carolinarox Sep 1, 2011

    @smbiz - Just because someone doesn't remember something doesn't mean it didn't happen. Item #45 from the White House Lessons Learned from Katrina states that Gov. Blanco requested federal assistance on 8/27/2005. Please note that this came from the Bush White House, so you know it is sacrosanct.

  • ICTrue Sep 1, 2011

    "Where was Governor Blanco then? The ONLY official I remember hearing anything from was the foul-mouthed Mayor Nagin, who with the media blasted Bush for the slow response. The media failed to mention that the fed had publically stated that they were ready to come in but lacked the required permission from Louisiana."

    You are exactly right. Other than the obvious logistical problems, the two major culprits for the slow response were Governor Blanco and the racist Mayor Nagin. They, more than anyone, blocked and/or slowed the response because of their own personal agendas and carry the most personal responsibility for their own people's deaths. The fairytale spun by the media, not withstanding.

  • Screw WrAl Sep 1, 2011

    I ask because I truly wonder, are the corners of her mouth coming unraveled? Nonetheless, will this be 2 more counties told no from the Feds because all new requests have been put on hold until they come up with more funds?

  • timothycapwell Sep 1, 2011

    She has dead eyes. She doesn't seem to be in control.