13 Counties Get Disaster Declaration

HENDERSONVILLE (AP) - More than a dozen counties have been declared disaster areas by the U.S. Agriculture Department.

The declaration came at the request of Gov. Pat McCrory because of the losses caused by excessive rain and flooding.

Those counties receiving the designation include Avery, Brunswick, Buncombe, Cleveland, Columbus, Durham, Rutherford, Henderson, Madison, Orange, Transylvania, Watauga and Wilson. Polk County farmers also qualify because they are next to the disaster area.

Qualified farmers are eligible for low-interest emergency loans. Farmers and ranchers have eight months to apply for loans to help cover their actual losses.

McCrory requested the federal disaster declaration Sept. 13 to help 16 counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians recover from this summer's heavy rains, landslides and severe flooding.

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