Beverly Eaves Perdue
State of North Carolina
Office of the Governor
20301 Mail Service Center • Raleigh, NC 27699-0301
August 29, 2011
Contact: Chris Mackey
Office: (919) 733-5612
Gov. Perdue Assesses Hurricane Response and Recovery Efforts
RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue today toured Bertie, Beaufort, Nash and Pamlico counties, meeting with residents who suffered losses from Hurricane Irene and with state and local emergency management officials as she assessed the response and recovery efforts to the storm.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have suffered losses,” Perdue said Monday. “The recovery process has begun. It will be hard work, but we have help and the tireless determination of the people of North Carolina. This is who we are. We climb back up. We rebuild.”
This morning, the governor requested a federal disaster declaration for Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico and Tyrrell counties. Local, state and federal emergency management teams are continuing to assess damage in other areas; more counties may be added later. A federal disaster declaration would clear the way for low-interest federal loans and other assistance programs to help hurricane survivors recover from the storm.
President Obama already has approved a federal emergency declaration for 34 counties, approving them for federal financial assistance to help cover the costs of emergency protective measures for local governments. Those counties include: Beaufort, Bertie, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Halifax, Hyde, Gates, Greene, Hertford, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, New Hanover, Nash, Northampton, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Tyrrell, Wayne, Washington and Wilson.
Help is already available for small and mid-size business owners impacted by Hurricane Irene. The Small Business and Technology Development Center is available to help business owners: 1) assess the financial impact on their business; 2) reconstruct financial statements; 3) evaluate options with creditors; and 4) if a federal disaster declaration is approved, prepare U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loan applications. For more information, call the N.C. Department of Commerce Business Link at 1-800-228-8443.
Six North Carolinians died as a result of Hurricane Irene. Swift water team rescues conducted more than 100 rescue operations throughout the east.
Homes, businesses and other structures in Burgaw and along the Tar River are vulnerable to flooding during the next few days.
Thirteen shelters remain open, housing more than 800 occupants , while more than 210,000 homes and businesses remain without power.
Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for a number of areas. Currituck County residents and property owners are allowed to return, but the area is still closed to visitors. The town of Duck and Hatteras Island are still under evacuation, but residents and visitors can return to all other Dare County communities beginning at noon today. Hertford County still has evacuations for Tunis, Leisure Shores, Cotton Island and Arrow Road communities due to flooding. The mainland of Hyde County is open to resident and essential services only, while Ocracoke residents are expected to be allowed to return Tuesday; the entire county remains closed to visitors.
Transportation crews have been working since Saturday to reopen blocked roads and bridges. The N.C. Department of Transportation has nearly 2,000 staff responding to the storm. For the latest road conditions call 511, visit http://www.ncdot.gov/travel, follow @NCDOT on Twitter or get the NCDOT Mobile, application for your smart phone (m.ncdot.gov).
The state ports in Morehead City and Wilmington reopened today. Ferry service has fully resumed on the runs from Southport to Fort Fisher, Cherry Branch to Minnesott Beach, and Currituck to KnottsIsland. Limited service for Ocracoke residents only begins Tuesday morning on the Cedar Island and Swan Quarter routes. Other ferry routes are being used for emergency response and relief. Passenger train service has resumed between Raleigh and Charlotte, but interstate passenger trains and freight rail service east of Interstate 95 was cancelled today.
N.C. National Guard soldiers and airmen continue delivering supplies and assisting rescue teams, while Highway Patrol troopers assist with traffic control as evacuees return home.
Gov. Perdue also announced that she has set up a fund to provide financial assistance for hurricane survivors. The N.C. Disaster Relief Fund will accept monetary donations and is managed by the governor’s office in partnership with the United Way of North Carolina. Donations are tax deductible and 100 percent of donated funds will go to survivors. To donate or get information about the fund, please go to: http://www.ncdisasterrelief.org. Donations also may be made to other reputable non-profit agencies and faith-based organizations that respond to disasters.
“For those looking for a way to give back,” Perdue said, “this is a great opportunity to help.”
Emergency management officials recommended cash contributions over donated goods because it provides local officials with more flexibility to meet the precise needs of the storm survivors and also helps the local economy recover.
The governor’s toll-free emergency information bilingual hotline is staffed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. providing callers with information on what to do to begin recovering from the storm. English and Spanish-speaking people should call 1-888-835-9966. Deaf and hard-of-hearing people may call 711 (Relay N.C.)
For road and travel conditions call 511, visit http://www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow the N.C. Department of Transportation on Twitter at http://www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your smartphone. NCDOT Mobile is compatible with the iPhone, Android and some newer Blackberry phones.
For updates on Hurricane Irene recovery efforts, follow North Carolina Emergency Management on Twitter @NCEmergency. Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NCEmergencyManagement and on the Crime Control and Public Safety website at http://www.nccrimecontrol.org.