Western NC to get aid for flooding

Sep. 26, 2013 @ 04:27 AM

Thirteen counties in western North Carolina, and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, will be able to seek federal funds to partially pay for damages incurred during flooding this summer.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a federal disaster declaration on Wednesday which allows Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Watauga and Yancy counties and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians to seek federal relief.

According to a press release, the counties can seek 75 percent of "eligible costs for infrastructure repairs, debris removal and emergency protective measures."

“This summer’s flooding was a sobering reminder that all regions of our state are vulnerable to flooding even without hurricanes,” McCrory said in a statement. “These communities did a great job responding to the devastating floods and landslides. Now we can help them recover financially.”

The foothills and mountains sustained between 10 and 20 inches of rain in the month of July.

The release stated McCrory sent a request for aid to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for 16 counties and the Cherokee Indians after emergency managers surveyed an estimated $25 million in public infrastructure damage and flood response. Catawba, Lincoln and Wilkes counties were not included in the federal disaster declaration. The state is appealing to FEMA to include those omitted counties.

Additionally, McCrory said he is seeking federal funds from the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to "help pay for road repairs and provide financial assistance for farmers impacted by the summer floods."

According to the governor's office, several locations reported over 20 inches of rain and many counties in western North Carolina recorded July as the wettest summer of record.

The release also indicated the governor has requested and received federal funds earlier this summer for families and business owners to help with flood recovery.