United States Senator Kay R. Hagan (NC) commented today on U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's decision to issue natural disaster designations for 35 North Carolina counties that suffered damages from tornadoes and Hurricane Irene in 2011.
"I am pleased that North Carolina farmers and ranchers impacted by the tornadoes and Hurricane Irene will finally get the assistance they deserve," said Hagan.
"Following the tornadoes in April and the hurricane inSeptember, I saw firsthand the community spirit and widespread determination by our citizens to rebuild their communities. My staff has steadily monitored restoration efforts and I will continue to fight to ensure that our communities receive sufficient federal aid to rebuild and recover."
The USDA deferred making a disaster designation until further information was available on total damages and production losses from the tornadoes and hurricane. Today, Secretary Vilsack designated 35 North Carolina counties as natural disasterareas in two separate disaster designations:
Disaster #1: Tornadoes, which occurred on April 16, 2011
Designation for the primary counties of: Cumberland and Johnston.
Benefits are also available for the contiguous counties of: Bladen, Harnett, Hoke, Moore, Nash, Robeson, Sampson, Wake, Wayne and Wilson.
Disaster #2: Hurricane Irene, which occurred from August 26 through August 30, 2011
Designation for the primary counties of: Beaufort, Bertie, Camden, Carteret, Columbus,Craven, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Franklin, Greene, Halifax, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Pitt, Sampson, Tyrrell, Vance, Wake, Warren, Washington, Wayne and Wilson.
Benefits are also available for the contiguous counties of: Bladen, Brunswick, Chatham, Cumberland, Durham, Gates, Granville, Harnett, Hertford, Perquimans and Robeson.
Producers in both primary and contiguous counties are eligible to be considered for Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans (EM) and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE).
Hagan led the North Carolina Congressional delegation in helping to secure a Presidential Disaster Declaration for the state following Hurricane Irene. Disaster relief funds are awarded to a state after the President or the Governor issues a formal disaster declaration and the state files a request for Disaster Designation.