State Appeals FEMA’s Denial for Storm Aid

State Appeals FEMA’s Denial for Storm Aid

By / State News / Wednesday, 18 November 2015 05:00

RALEIGH, N.C. : November 10th, 2015 - After learning that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied Governor Pat McCrory’s aid request to help eight coastal counties recover from last month’s flooding, the governor has announced he will appeal the decision.
“We will appeal this denial and I implore Administrator (Craig) Fugate and his staff to re-examine the damage estimates that were submitted,” said Governor McCrory. “Based on FEMA guidelines, we believe the damage estimates submitted are indeed eligible for federal financial assistance.”
On October 28, Governor McCrory requested a federal disaster declaration for eight counties to help them recover some of their costs for storm response and damages. Those counties are Brunswick, Carteret, Dare, Hyde, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico and Pender. Local, state and federal survey teams estimated that damages to beaches, roads and infrastructure along with debris removal and emergency protective measures would total approximately $31 million. The required federal threshold for North Carolina is $13.4 million.
In the denial letter, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate stated that the damages incurred were not “beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments” and thus did not warrant federal assistance.
Several back-to-back low pressure systems, a stalled coastal front and moisture from Hurricane Joaquin created an unusual weather pattern that dumped 5 to 20 inches of rain between Sept. 25 and Oct. 5. While South Carolina bore the brunt of the storm, much of North Carolina’s coastal plain and southern border counties saw between 7 and 9 inches of rain in the same time frame with some areas receiving more. The heaviest rainfall amounts were Wilmington (13+"), Tabor City (14+"), Bald Head Island (nearly 15”), Longwood in Brunswick County (18+"), Morehead City (19+”), and Calabash (22+”).
The governor declared a state of emergency Oct. 1 for all 100 counties in anticipation of Hurricane Joaquin and activated the State Emergency Operations Center to coordinate storm response and recovery efforts.
Last month the governor received an agricultural disaster declaration from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to help farmers in multiple counties receive emergency loans for agricultural losses incurred during the heavy rains and flooding. Subsequent federal loans have been approved to help other agricultural business in numerous North Carolina counties.

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