Gov. Bev Perdue appeared on "The Today Show" Monday, speaking about the deadly tornadoes in North Carolina.
Perdue said search and rescue teams are still covering ground in Eastern Carolina, where the damage from the severe weather outbreak was the worst.
Perdue said she would personally continue surveying the damage Monday. After viewing the damage from helicopters Sunday, Perdue described the damage as "paper dollhouses that had collapsed. Lives have been totally disrupted. Entire communities have been totally disrupted," Perdue told Matt Lauer.
Perdue said the people in the state are able to cope with natural disasters. "That's the beauty of North Carolina," Perdue said. "We know how face adversity."
Perdue said she met with the director of FEMA Sunday and discussed expediting the estimates of property and life damage. Helping individual victims of the storm is the top priority, according to Perdue, followed by the businesses that suffered losses. Perdue said she expected by Thursday or Friday, North Carolina could be declared a federal disaster area, which would bring federal emergency aid to the state. Perdue said it doesn't solve everything, but "money helps."
Perdue said she was not sure what kind of aid would be available to farmers after thousands of acres of crops were destroyed.
Perdue's schedule Monday includes touring Bertie, Halifax and Wilson Counties.