President orders federal aid to six N.C. counties

Posted October 14, 2010

— President Barack Obama ordered federal aid on Thursday to supplement state and local recovery efforts for six North Carolina counties struck by severe storms, flooding and straight-line winds between Sept. 27 and Oct. 1.

The funding makes federal funds available to residents in Beaufort, Bertie, Craven, Hertford, Onslow and Tyrrell counties.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Homeowners can get up to $240,000 in low-interest loans to replace their homes and some belongings. Renters can qualify for up to $40,000.

Anyone who doesn’t qualify for a loan may be eligible for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

State emergency officials say more than 420 homes and 60 businesses in the six counties were damaged or completely destroyed.

Total statewide damage estimates are still being compiled.

The heavy rains two weeks ago caused flooding in the eastern part of the state worse than when Hurricane Floyd hit the area 11 years ago.

windsor Windsor residents still cleaning after flood

Windsor, the Bertie County seat, saw some of the worst flooding in the state, with more than 200 homes and businesses damaged.

On Thursday, cleanup efforts were in full swing. Crews were working to haul away mountains of debris.

Business owner Ted Shaw said his pool supply store was one of only a handful of business re-opened on the main street through town.

"As soon as the water went down everybody started to work, basically tear all the carpet out and replace the flooring," he said.

Shaw had flood insurance to help repair his shop, but many did not.

"I think it's important to get debris out of our area, psychologically it makes it easier when you don't have to look at all you've lost," said Allen Castello, the town administrator.

Through a federal buyout program after Hurricane Floyd dozens of homes in Windsor were either removed or raised. Town officials say that helped reduce damage this time around and that program could be a possibility again.

"Now we've had it happen twice, so we know it could happen again and we need to try to alleviate as much of that on our business owners and homeowners as we can," Castello said.

For now, an army of volunteers, including The North Carolina Baptist Men, is helping residents pick up the pieces.

“The spirit in the town here has been the best of any place we've ever been. Neighbors helping neighbors. Everybody is pitching in,” volunteer Will Arant said.

Town leaders said any decisions about buyout programs and other mitigation is months away.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for  federal assistance on Friday by registering online or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.


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  • The Fox Oct 15, 2010

    So Jones County got left out? Went through the low country there Tues and looked like damage to me.

  • Kam11 Oct 15, 2010

    thinkbeforespeaking - my thoughts exactly!
    I was surprised to see all the complaints about this. If you complain that we're "spending money we don't have", you can't ALSO complain that the federal government is offering loans.

  • Proud Black Constitutionalist Oct 15, 2010

    How convenient, just in time for the elections!

  • larieke Oct 15, 2010

    A loan! I wonder how many can afford to pay it back? Probably like small businesses, they don't take the loans because they worry they can't pay it back.

  • thinkbeforespeaking Oct 15, 2010

    Man...folks will complain about anything....sheesh...If no money showed up people would complain that the Gov't doesnt care.....get a grip FOLKS

  • BarefootButcher Oct 14, 2010

    So why not Jones County????????? We are right between Craven and Onslow with the Trent river running through the middle of us. We had as many homes damaged as Craven County....

  • whatelseisnew Oct 14, 2010

    Oh goody, more money we do not have. Hmm maybe they can remove some of the newly included welfare clauses in the Federal tax code to pay for this.

  • mleuver Oct 14, 2010

    We get 21 inches of rain and get Federal Aid, a week later nonetheless...did any Gulf States get federal aid for the Gulf Oil Spill?? Oh...I see, balme BP and make them pay...well..then why are not the insurance compaies responsible for efforts in NC?? Oh that is right...they give our premiums to officials to get elected then the insurance companies charge us more for the help we need...and now the elected officials are forcing us to pay for insurance that we can not offored...and they are not even responsible to help us...I get it...Interesting...anyone want to start an insurance company...I'm in...

  • geosol Oct 14, 2010

    This is just terrible!! The angry old man on the TV who tells me what to think said that everything Obama does is just HORIBLE!!! That makes me feel better, so that's what i choose to think. Go wingers!!!!

  • connie2006 Oct 14, 2010

    No points gained in my vote come election day. glad he helped them but....