White House approves declaration for public assistance; individual assistance under review
Published 6:50 am Tuesday, October 8, 2019
On Oct. 4, President Trump approved Governor Roy Cooper’s request for a major disaster declaration for public assistance for the following counties impacted by Hurricane Dorian: Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Hyde, Jones, New Hanover, Pamlico, Pender, Sampson, Tyrrell and Washington.
The major disaster declaration allows impacted counties to receive support from FEMA’s public assistance program, providing reimbursement to local governments for costs of debris removal, lifesaving emergency protective measures and the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged publicly owned facilities. Certain private non-profit organizations can also be eligible for reimbursement.
“North Carolina’s coastal communities – particularly Ocracoke and those on the Outer Banks – were hit hard by Hurricane Dorian and it’s critical that they have access to FEMA Public Assistance and the federal resources necessary to recover. This is a positive step and we continue to urge our federal partners and North Carolina’s congressional delegation to work to expedite approval of our request for Individual Assistance for families whose homes were destroyed as well,” said Cooper.
Said Robert L. Woodward, chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, “we’re pleased this has finally come through.”
North Carolina requested public assistance on Sept. 13.
On Sept. 21, Cooper also requested a major disaster declaration for individual assistance, which, if approved, would provide grants to residents who suffered damages from Dorian and could open the door to additional FEMA recovery programs like temporary housing.
The individual assistance request remains under review and state officials have urged federal agencies and North Carolina’s congressional delegation to work to expedite federal approval.
In addition to Public Assistance, the Declaration also lists as types of assistance the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. All areas in the State of North Carolina are eligible to apply for this assistance to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from nature hazards.