U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (NC) today commented as North Carolina marks the anniversary of the April 2011 tornadoes.
"The deadly tornadoes and violent storms that struck North Carolina last year were some of the worst our state has seen - 24 North Carolinians lost their lives and countless homes and businesses were severely damaged or destroyed. Today, my thoughts and prayers continue to be with those who lost loved ones and the families and businesses who are still working to pick up the pieces.
"While the effects of these storms still linger across our state, we have seen meaningful signs of progress. Today, Shaw University reopened the Willie E. Gary Student Center, one of 27 buildings on campus damaged by last year's storms. And the Lowes in Sanford - where staff heroically guided customers to safety during the tornado - is completely rebuilt and marking the anniversary with events is encouraging local residents to give back to the community. This is the true North Carolina spirit at work - neighbors and volunteers across the state have worked together to help our families and businesses get back on their feet. North Carolina is a state of action and a state of resiliency, and I will continue to support our communities on the road to a full recovery."
Immediately following last year's storms, Hagan traveled to storm-devastated areas across the state - from Shaw University to the hardest-hit neighborhoods in Bertie County. Hagan led the North Carolina delegation in asking the Administration to support federal disaster assistance requests made by Governor Perdue. The President designated 20 counties in North Carolina as disasters, bringing federal resources and assistance to families and businesses.
In the past year, nearly $49 million in federal and state funds have been distributed to families, business owners, government agencies and non-profit organizations to assist in the disaster recovery effort. The following is a snapshot of the recovery effort:
· 2,038 households received Federal Emergency Management Agency grants to help pay for temporary housing and/or replace personal property.
· $6.1 million approved for housing grants, including short-term rental assistance and home repair costs.
· $2.3 million approved to cover other essential disaster-related needs, such as funerals, medical and dental expenses and lost personal possessions.
· $13 million in low-interest disaster loans approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration to help homeowners and business owners repair and rebuild.
· 6,318 homes were inspected after the storms.
· 36 temporary housing units were installed by FEMA so residents would have safe housing while they repaired or rebuilt their homes.
In addition, $27.5 million was given to local and state governments and nonprofit organizations to pay for 462 projects such as debris removal and repairs to public facilities and infrastructure.