After receiving requests for federal aid following the effects of Tropical Storm Michael, President Donald J. Trump announced Thursday that the state would be receiving assistance for recovery efforts.
On Jan. 31, President Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of North Carolina and ordered Federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by Tropical Storm Michael from Oct. 10 to Oct. 12, 2018.
Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Tropical Storm Michael in the counties of Alamance, Brunswick, Caswell, Chatham, Dare, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Granville, Hyde, Iredell, McDowell, Montgomery, Orange, Person, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Vance and Yadkin.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
Brock Long, administrator of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with the Department of Homeland Security named Albert Lewis as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas.
In December, Governor Roy Cooper wrote a letter to the president requesting federal disaster assistance for the 21 North Carolina counties, including McDowell, affected by Tropical Storm Michael.
“Tropical Storm Michael inflicted major damage to North Carolina at a time when it was already devastated by Hurricane Florence,” Governor Cooper said in a previous statement. “Many people are suffering from the effects of Hurricane Michael and we want to get them the help they deserve.”
Preliminary damage assessments conducted by the state and county governments found damages estimated at $23,487,821 due to Michael (exceeding the minimum state total of $14,303,224.50 by well over $9 million), which hit North Carolina in early October after making a devastating landfall in the Florida panhandle.
Michael caused four deaths in North Carolina. The 21 counties included in the request for federal help received between four and nine inches of rain during a 24-hour period. More than 100 people were rescued from flash flooding and eight temporary shelters opened. Power outages affected 860,000 homes and businesses at their peak. In McDowell, emergency crews responded to multiple accidents, power outages, flooded roads, landslides and even had to rescue a person trapped in swift water.
Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.