Governor Cooper Seeks Federal Assistance for Watauga, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell & Wilkes Due To Severe Weather

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Governor Roy Cooper on Wednesday signed a letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration requesting an SBA disaster declaration for Ashe, Avery, Caldwell. Watauga and Wilkes counties. On the same day he signed a state disaster declaration for the city of Eden, all these locations were impacted by severe weather in recent weeks.

The Governor signed a Type 1 State Public Assistance declaration for the city of Eden in Rockingham County for tornadoes that stuck that area on May 5. This declaration provides for reimbursement of 75 percent of funds the town spent on emergency protective measures, debris cleanup and repairs to roads and bridges. The National Weather Service says an EF1 tornado touched down in Eden that day, remaining on the ground for approximately eight minutes and leaving a three-mile path of damage to trees and buildings.

“The city of Eden stepped up to help its people recover from the storm, and now it’s our turn to help so Eden won’t be left in a financial bind due to the costs of storm recovery,” said Governor Cooper.

“The state disaster declaration process allows local governments that meet criteria to total and submit their eligible disaster recovery costs for reimbursement once an event is over,” said state Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry.

The Governor also signed a letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration requesting that the SBA grant a disaster declaration for Watauga, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and Wilkes counties. These areas were struck by high winds, tornadoes and floods on October 23.

If granted, this SBA disaster declaration will provide low interest loans to people and business owners affected by the storms. “Several of our western counties were hit hard last month and access to these loans will help speed recovery,” Gov. Cooper said.

That storm caused extensive flooding in Boone, inundating more than 40 apartment units with more than two feet of water. A damage assessment in Watauga County found at least 25 homes and businesses with major damage. In Marshall, a submerged sewer line that runs under the French Broad River ruptured. The storm caused extensive power outages, downed trees and damaged homes and buildings across Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and Wilkes counties.

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