Gov. Bev Perdue and emergency management officials are working to help all communities affected by Hurricane Irene recover and rebuild.
“Lives have been lost, homes and property destroyed,” Gov. Perdue said. “My number one priority is for a recovery that is as seamless and efficient as possible,” Gov. Perdue said.
Seven North Carolinians havedied as a result of Hurricane Irene. Thousands were displaced and more than 1,100 homes were destroyed.
North Carolina has received federal disaster declarations for nine counties, which allows families and business owners to seek low-interest loans or grants to help with recovery.
“Our fellow North Carolinians who suffered losses during this storm need help to start rebuilding their lives now – not tomorrow.”
The declarations have been approved for Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico, Tyrrell, Halifax and Lenior counties.
Damage assessment teams are still working and more counties may be added.
Gov. Perdue has also requested federal public assistance funding for 20 counties. Those declarations would help defray the recovery cost to local governments. Cleanup for the storm is estimated to reach $40 million in debris removal and infrastructure repairs.
Preliminary county assessments indicate more than $70 million in damages for personal losses. Agricultural losses are also being tallied. Martin County alone has reported more than $37 million in crop damage.
Gov. Perdue visited counties throughout Eastern North Carolina this week to assess the state’s response to Hurricane Irene.
She met with emergency responders who have been working around the clock.
She met families dealing with devastating losses and local officials working to recover from the storm.
She saw devastated crops and talked with farmers about their losses.
On Thursday, Gov. Perdue spoke with Eastern North Carolina school superintendents and community college presidents. She promised the educators that more help is coming.
“I’m moving aggressively to make sure families, businesses and communities receive the assistance they need to fully recover from this storm,” Gov. Perdue said.
For more information about the state’s response to Hurricane Irene, and for the latest updates, including information on appyling for federal assistance, follow North Carolina Emergency Management on Twitter @NCEmergency or connect with Facebook at www.facebook.com/NCEmergencyManagement. Updates are also available on the Crime Control and Public Safety website at www.nccrimecontrol.org.