Three weeks after areas of the mountains were devastated by torrential rain and flooding, President Joe Biden has approved North Carolina’s Disaster Declaration, paving the way for those impacted by Tropical Storm Fred to receive federal assistance.
It would recalled that flooding from the storm damaged more than 680 homes and killed six in western North Carolina on Aug. 17. Biden’s disaster declaration covers people in Buncombe, Haywood and Transylvania counties.
Disclosing the declaration in a statement, the White House noted that the president’s “action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Buncombe, Haywood, and Transylvania.”
In view of this development, those impacted by the storm can apply for grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
“Federal funding also is available to state, tribal, 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 the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred in the counties of Avery, Buncombe, Haywood, Madison, Transylvania, Watauga, and Yancey,” the White House announced online.
According to reports, Gov. Roy Cooper requested the federal disaster designation on Aug. 27.
Cooper, had at the time said “The people of Western North Carolina took a devastating blow from Tropical Storm Fred’s flooding”
“Federal assistance is needed to help rebuild and become more resilient ahead of future storms.”
Reacting to the declaration, Cooper was thankful to see the region get the recovery funding the area needs.
He said “This federal disaster declaration will help provide assistance for Western North Carolina communities to rebuild stronger and smarter, and I appreciate the president’s approval of our request,” Cooper said Wednesday.
On his part, Kevin Ensley, Chairman of the Haywood County Board of Commissioners in a press release, said “In the weeks since the August 17 floods, Haywood County has experienced trials unlike anything we have seen since 2004. Six lives were tragically lost, hundreds of homes and buildings were destroyed, bridges and roads are torn apart, and lives changed forever. Our prayers continue to be with the families affected by this flood. Today’s declaration will make it possible for Haywood County to find a path to healing and a brighter future. While no financial assistance can truly recover what was lost, this does represent a step forward and we are grateful for the assistance from the Governor, FEMA, and the White House”.