Senators Richard Burr and Kay R. Hagan and Representatives Walter Jones, Sue Myrick, Mike McIntyre, David Price, Brad Miller, G.K. Butterfield, Patrick McHenry, Larry Kissell and Renee Ellmers today sent letters asking the Administration to support federal disaster assistance requests made by Governor Perdue in the wake of Saturday's devastating storms. The letters to President Obama and Department of Agriculture Secretary Vilsack can be found here and here.
Governor Perdue requested that the President declare an expedited major disaster for 18 counties in North Carolina that were impacted by the tornadoes, high winds, flooding and severe storms that hit North Carolina on Saturday, April 16. If approved, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would provide low-interest loans or grants to assist with recovery efforts, including home and business repairs.
"We respectfully request that you swiftly make the necessary declaration so the affected counties and regions of North Carolina can quickly and fully recover from this devastating storm system," wrote the NC Delegation.
In addition, the delegation sent a letter to Secretary Vilsack urging him to declare an expedited Secretarial disaster designation in the same 18 counties so that North Carolina producers can receive USDA assistance, including emergency low-interest loans for farmers who were impacted by the storms.
"As farmers were beginning to plant their crops, multiple tornadoes tore through several medium and large metropolitan areas in addition to rural parts of North Carolina. Tragically, 22 North Carolinians were killed and over 100 more people sustained serious injuries. More than 1,000 homes, farms and businesses were destroyed or damaged, which will cost millions of dollars to repair and rebuild," wrote the delegation.
"It is critical that North Carolina producers in the affected counties receive immediate assistance from USDA so that they can quickly and fully recover from this devastating storm. We stand ready to help in any way that we can."
The 18 counties are: Bertie, Bladen, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Greene, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Johnston, Lee, Onslow, Pitt, Roberson, Sampson, Wake and Wilson. In addition to these counties, additional counties may need to be added to the declaration as the Farm Service Agency (FSA) continues to assess production and physical losses suffered by producers.
The delegation also requested that families affected by this storm be given additional time to complete their federal income tax returns.