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Hagan Applauds FEMA Decision to Provide Assistance to WNC Counties Affected by Devastating Storms, Floods

Oct. 30, 2013. U.S. Senator Kay Hagan today applauded the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) decision to provide federal disaster assistance to Ashe, Avery, Catawba, Lincoln, Watauga and Wilkes counties. These counties were among those hit by devastating storms and floods in July, which caused millions of dollars worth of property damage, disrupted critical services, and washed out roads and bridges in the area.

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan
U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan

“I’m pleased that after I urged FEMA to act, North Carolina counties affected by disastrous weather this summer will receive vital assistance to help them fully recover,” Hagan said. “This is great news for residents in Western North Carolina who have sustained terrible damage as a result of severe storms, devastating floods and destructive landslides and mudslides.”

Earlier this month, Hagan sent a letter to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate in support of the state of North Carolina’s appeal for federal assistance for Catawba, Lincoln and Wilkes counties. Click here to read Hagan’s full letter to Administrator Fugate.

As a result of the disaster declaration, federal funding will be available to the state, eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis. The funds can be used for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides in the counties of Ashe, Avery, Catawba, Lincoln, Watauga, and Wilkes.

In September, FEMA issued a disaster declaration for parts of Western North Carolina, but denied the state’s request for public assistance for several counties because an initial assessment of the damages incurred failed to meet the threshold for receiving assistance. Hagan wrote to FEMA urging inclusion of these counties, and subsequent assessments completed earlier this month identified additional damages that exceeded the required level, and the state appealed FEMA’s previous denial.