McCrory Won't Appeal FEMA Decision Denying Tornado Help

On Friday, FEMA sent a letter to Governor Pat McCrory denying his request that Beaufort, Chowan, Pasquotank, and Perquimans counties be declared federal disaster areas.

Debbie Boyd / Washington

Governor Pat McCrory says he won't appeal a FEMA decision that denies federal help to Eastern Carolina.

On Friday, FEMA sent a letter to McCrory denying his request that Beaufort, Chowan, Pasquotank, and Perquimans counties be declared federal disaster areas.

On April 25th, multiple tornadoes tore though the four counties, destroying 60 homes, damaging 440 more, and causing one death.

Speaking to WITN in Kinston this afternoon, the governor said the state will move forward with setting up disaster loans and grants for storm victims.

"We are not going to appeal that finding because that would slow up the process of giving state resources where these people need some immediate help," said the governor.

In his letter to McCrory, FEMA administrator Craig Fugate said "this event was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state, affected local governments, and voluntary agencies". Because of that Fugate said they have determined federal assistance wasn't necessary.

The governor could have appealed FEMA's decision to President Barack Obama.


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Federal authorities say last month's tornado damage in four Eastern Carolina counties was not severe enough to qualify for federal aid.

On Friday, FEMA sent a letter to Governor Pat McCrory denying his request that Beaufort, Chowan, Pasquotank, and Perquimans counties be declared federal disaster areas.

On April 25th, multiple tornadoes tore though the four counties, destroying 60 homes, damaging 440 more, and causing one death.

In his letter to McCrory, FEMA administrator Craig Fugate said "this event was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state, affected local governments, and voluntary agencies". Because of that Fugate said they have determined federal assistance wasn't necessary.

Fugate told McCrory the state has 30 days to appeal his decision to President Barack Obama. There is no word yet from McCrory's office whether that will happen.


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Congressman G. K. Butterfield has expressed disappointment that the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Governor Pat McCrory's request to make emergency federal funds available through a major disaster declaration for North Carolina.

These funds were requested to assist residents in Beaufort, Chowan, Pasquotank, and Perquimans counties. Those areas were hit by tornadoes and severe storms for several days in late April.

After learning of the denial, Butterfield held an emergency call with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.

State officials reported more than 500 homes sustained damage, including 60 homes that were totally destroyed.

"I am outraged that my constituents in eastern North Carolina are being denied urgently needed federal assistance," said Butterfield. "Hundreds of people have been displaced and need help. This is a time where families whose lives have been upended by the storm need their government the most."

Butterfield continues to work with the Governor and the Obama Administration to identify resources to provide assistance to affected families.


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