Perdue seeks disaster funds for six counties

Posted October 8, 2010 2:09 p.m. EDT

— Gov. Beverly Perdue has requested a disaster declaration for six eastern North Carolina counties following flooding caused by heavy rains last week.

If approved by President Barack Obama, the declaration would clear the way for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide low-interest loans or grants to storm victims in Beaufort, Bertie, Craven, Hertford, Onslow and Tyrrell counties to help them repair their homes.

“I’ve seen the flooding first hand and have met with some of our fellow North Carolinians who are struggling to recover from the storm,” Perdue said in a statement. “We want to move as quickly as possible to get them the help they need.”

More than 420 homes in the six counties were badly damaged by the storm, including nearly 60 that were destroyed. Some houses retained as much as 3 feet of standing water for more than three days. More than 80 businesses also were damaged by the recent floods.

Total damage assessments to community roads, buildings and public services have not yet been completed because of high water levels in some areas. Emergency management officials said initial estimates indicate that the state likely won't qualify for federal funding to recover the costs for emergency protective measures and repairs to state roads, bridges and community infrastructure.