FEMA inspections in NC near completion; help still available

Posted April 30, 2011 6:30 p.m. EDT
Updated April 30, 2011 7:29 p.m. EDT

— Recovery efforts are continuing in North Carolina from the deadly tornadoes that blasted the state April 16, as federal officials estimate that inspections are complete for 90 percent of storm victims who requested assistance.

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials said 31 inspectors have been on the ground in the last two weeks performing 2,900 inspections of damaged homes and businesses throughout central and eastern North Carolina.

A FEMA disaster assistance inspector documented damage at Rachel Sorensen's tornado-ravaged home in Apex on Saturday. 

"There's water damage extensively to our bedroom, to the ceilings, to the floors. There's wet insulation in between the walls," Sorensen said.

In order to get federal assistance through FEMA, homeowners like Sorensen must submit to an inspection that assesses damage and the livability of a home.

"We look for things such as health hazards, structural damages, foundation damages, roof damages, those types of things," said FEMA inspector Doug Huddleston.

Huddleston said they also check the yard for damages that insurance companies might not cover.

"When the representative came by and said, 'Apply for it even if you have insurance because there are things they might miss,' that's what we did," Sorensen said.

FEMA assistance is still available for tornado victims. Call 1-800-621-3362 or visit the website to sign up.