Last Updated on August 21, 2018 5:44 pm
RALEIGH – North Carolina will appeal a decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the White House not to grant a major disaster declaration for the May floods and mudslides in western North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper said Tuesday
The Governor’s Office and North Carolina Emergency Management learned Monday that the federal government had denied the state’s request for a federal disaster declaration. The state is seeking the declaration to pave the way for FEMA assistance for people and communities affected by the storms.
“Five people died as a result of these storms, and many others suffered damage to their homes and businesses. Many roads, bridges and driveways were washed out,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “People in western North Carolina need help recovering and we will keep doing everything we can to get it to them, including appealing this disappointing decision by FEMA.”
North Carolina has already succeeded in getting help from other federal government programs for the same storms. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue declared four North Carolina counties, Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania, as natural disaster areas, and the USDA Farm Service agency is opening its emergency loan program for those and neighboring counties. The U.S. Small Business Administration is opening its loan programs to assist farmers, small businesses and non-profits affected by the disaster.
Gov. Cooper requested a disaster declaration covering 13 counties for severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides in the period of May 15-31, 2018 including the rains from Sub-Tropical Storm Alberto. North Carolina received a letter from FEMA administrator Brock Long Monday denying the request and explaining that FEMA determined that “the damages resulted from separate and distinct events, none of which were of the severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments.”
The state has 30 days from August 20 to submit its formal appeal to FEMA, and is working on it with members of the state’s congressional delegation.