UPDATE: More Counties Get On Federal Help List

Gov. Beverly Perdue has secured federal approval for public assistance, not individual assistance, to 20 counties in eastern North Carolina to help with recovery from Hurricane Irene.

Perdue's office announced the approval Thursday night. The 20 counties are: Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Halifax, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Tyrrell and Wilson.

Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency enables local governments to recover costs for storm response, debris removal and infrastructure damage estimated at more than $40 million thus far.

State and federal damage assessment teams have been canvassing eastern North Carolina since Sunday, and the governor's office said more counties could be added later.

The federal government on Thursday added Halifax and Lenoir to the list of seven counties already approved for individual assistance.

Governor Beverly Perdue says Lenoir and Halifax counties have been added to the federal disaster declaration for the state. That will enable families and business owners to seek low-interest loans or grants to help them recover from Hurricane Irene.

That brings to a total of nine counties approved from individual assistance by the federal government. On Wednesday the president approved the declaration for Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico and Tyrrell counties.

The governor also said the state has asked the federal government for 20 counties to become eligible for federal aid so local governments can be compensated for removing debris and making infrastructure repairs.

Damage caused by the storm in eastern North Carolina is already estimated by authorities at $192 million and expected to get higher.

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North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue has asked that federal officials add two more counties to the disaster declaration request for individual assistance to help those recovering from Hurricane Irene.

Perdue's office said late Wednesday it has filed the request for individual assistance for Halifax and Lenoir counties.

President Obama on Wednesday approved Perdue's initial request for individual assistance for Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico and Tyrrell counties.

State Emergency Management Director Doug Hoell has asked that 20 counties be added to North Carolina's federal disaster declaration request for public assistance. The public assistance program helps local governments with the costs of responding to the storm, as well as cleaning debris and repairing infrastructure.

Perdue's office says more counties may be added to both lists.

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Gov. Beverly Perdue says other North Carolina counties will added to those eligible for federal disaster aid after Hurricane Irene.

Perdue says the first seven counties listed in an initial disaster declaration Wednesday are "just the beginning." The governor told reporters during a meeting with emergency responders in Kinston that she wants federal assistance money to start flowing to the hardest hit communities as soon as possible.

A Red Cross official has told Perdue as many as 3,500 homes in North Carolina may have been destroyed or severely damaged. Gary Haynes with the Red Cross in North Carolina says that's a preliminary figure based in part on field reports from volunteers.

Perdue says getting temporary housing to devastated communities is one of her top a priorities.

Residents and businesses in those seven counties can contact FEMA at 800-621-FEMA for assistance.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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President Obama has signed a disaster declaration for North Carolina as the state recovers from Hurricane Irene.

The White House said Wednesday that Obama had signed the order for seven counties affected when Hurricane Irene hit the state last week.

The order makes federal fund available to help with the recovery in Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico and Tyrrell counties.

The declaration authorizes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property loss and other programs to help people and businesses affected by the storm.

Gov. Beverly Perdue had submitted the request for the declaration on Monday.

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  • by jackie Location: hertford co on Sep 4, 2011 at 08:14 PM
    Why haven't they added Hertford County as a disaster area hit by the storm. We were without lights for days, but they won't give emergency food stamps to the households that lost all their food. Where is Bev Purdue when you need her.
  • by Firstname on Sep 4, 2011 at 03:02 PM
    Do you realize how many people will intentionally leave their vehicles in an area they know will be flooded, so they can get insurance to pay it off and get rid of the payment? Do you realize that you are better off not having home owners Insurance and just let Fema pick up the tab? I have seen homes rebuilt by Fema that have added porches all the way around them, put on stilts, and look like pictures in magazines. As for those on Foodstamps, getting food replaced, I am willing to bet that over 50% of them are already getting soooo many foodstamps, they can't even use them all in one month. A single woman with 3 kids can get over $800 a month, PLUS WIC. I have heard these women say they got so much milk from WIC, that it spoiled before they could use it.Even if they didn't get their food stamps replaced, it's not like they won't be getting anymore. They should have enough reserve canned foods to carry them into the next month, if they would shop sales and use coupons.I have heard single women say it was better living for them, to just stay on welfare as opposed to getting a job.Why not? Free phones, Insurance, WIC, foodstamps, free housing,free daycare and a check. I'm not opposed to people getting help when it's needed, but it does irk me to go to Wal_Mart and see a cart full of junk food and steaks, bought with Food Stamps, loaded into an Escillade, by a person talking on a smart phone, wearing diamond ear rings, gold chians, gold teeth, and carrying a Coach Purse. If you can afford all of those luxurys, you should pay for your own food and medicine!!!I know people getting assistance that have the best phones, laptops, and internet service that money can buy.Social Services says you are allowed one vehicle per family over the resource limit if it's used for medical purposes, but who says you have to drive a car with a 500 dollar payment? Then, we wonder why the government is BROKE???
  • by SoThankful Location: Chocowinity on Sep 2, 2011 at 06:58 PM
    I am so thankful that my family was not hurt during the storm. That is the most important thing. My home was damaged, both my cars crushed and since my power was just restored today all of my perishables are spoiled. Of course, I am a bit overwhelmed with all that is going on but I do believe that those working to help us are doing the best they can. Negativity breeds negativity. Keep your head up Eastern NC!
  • by Anonymous on Sep 2, 2011 at 05:50 PM
    I needs all the heps I cans get.I dont care what she be looking like in this pictor but at leest she be thinking about helping some-ONE.Herself.
  • by Citizen on Sep 2, 2011 at 10:53 AM
    Currituck, Pitt, Onslow, and Washington Counties were just added!
  • by Cliff Location: Washington Co on Sep 2, 2011 at 07:57 AM
    I guess they forgot to take a ride through our county again or maybe our local goverment just dont care. People in Washington County need help as much as any and its time for someone to take a stand and say enough is enough! There are 100 counties in NC and we are tired of being the forgotten one.
  • by ??!! on Sep 2, 2011 at 05:54 AM
    And pitt co is still not considered a disaster??? How much does it seriously take...several towns have said damage is worse than floyd. Is there still a chance pitt could be added?
  • by Family in Greene Co Location: Winterville on Sep 2, 2011 at 05:21 AM
    Greene, Pitt and Washington Co all need to be added to the list. Greene is still recoving from the tornados they had in May/June.
  • by Tracey Location: Greenville on Sep 2, 2011 at 05:12 AM
    Glad to see more counties being added, but some are still being missed like PITT! Remember we must also help each other, not just rely on the Govt for help. Continue to Pray for all of those affected.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 2, 2011 at 03:55 AM
    County Goverrnment has nothing to do with being added to the disaster list. With the national debt the way it is no one should get any help, keep putting the Dems in office and we can call China and ask their government for food stamps. Dems = spend spend spend and never look back.

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