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HURRICANE IRENE: Storm Losses Top $400 Million

Losses from Hurricane Irene have topped $400 million here in Eastern Carolina.

Governor Beverly Perdue says agricultural losses top the list at more than $320 million. That's followed by local government costs of more than $45 million and $40 million in losses from uninsured or underinsured home and businesses.

Perdue wants U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for an expedited major disaster declaration for 43 counties here in the east. She says that without help, many farms will go out of business.

That declaration would allow the ag department to provide low-interest loans and other federal assistance.

Damaged crops include corn, cotton, peanuts, sweet potatoes and tobacco. Also damaged were swine and poultry, along with farm buildings, machinery and equipment.

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The feds have added four more Eastern Carolina counties to the federal disaster list, bringing the total to 13.

Gov. Bev Perdue says that Pitt, Onslow, Currituckand Washington counties to be added to the federal disaster declaration in North Carolina.

That enables families and business owners to seek low-interest loans or grants to help them recover from Hurricane Irene. Today’s action brings to 13 the total number of counties approved for individual assistance.

Others already approved are Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Halifax, Hyde, Lenoir, Pamlico and Tyrrell counties.

Hurricane victims can call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 to file a claim.

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FEMA is now on the ground with disaster recovery centers open in several Eastern Carolina counties.

Ten counties have been listed as federal disaster areas, meaning victims can get assistance from Hurricane Irene damage. Currituck County said it was notified Friday morning that FEMA had added them to the disaster list. Others are Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Halifax, Hyde, Lenoir, Pamlico and Tyrrell counties.

*In Carteret County a FEMA center is located at the county health department, 3820 Bridges Street in Morehead City. It is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until further notice.

*In Tyrrell County a FEMA center is located at Tyrrell Hall, 906 U.S. Highway 64 in Columbia. It has the same hours of operation.

*In Beaufort County a FEMA center will open at 1:00 p.m. Friday at 2895 Highway 17 North in Chocowinity.

*In Hyde County a FEMA center will open 1:00 p.m. Friday at the Hyde County Schools Central Office (former O.A. Peay School) at 1430 Main St. in Swan Quarter.

Hurricane victims can always just call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 to file a claim.

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