NC Senate Panel On Irene Holds Initial Meeting

The state agency overseeing North Carolina's response to Hurricane Irene estimates the price tag on helping individuals and governments recover from Hurricane Irene so far at about $125 million.

The Division of Emergency Management provided the total to senators Wednesday at the first meeting of a special committee to recommend how the Legislature should respond to Irene and prepare for future disasters.

The federal government will pay most of that amount. The division estimates the state could pay $28.5 million of that total. The state has set aside almost $300 million in a rainy-day reserve fund.

Agricultural damage is estimated to be at least $320 million. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler gave committee members several ideas, including a loan guarantee program with private lenders for farmers in disaster areas.

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