Governor Cooper Requests Federal Disaster Declaration | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Press Release:

Seeks aid for Guilford and Rockingham counties to repair tornado damaged properties

    RALEIGH: Yesterday, Governor Roy Cooper sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting a federal disaster declaration for Guilford and Rockingham counties to help recover from the tornado that left a path of damage through the two counties on April 15. If granted, the federal individual assistance disaster declaration would provide loans or grants through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help homeowners, renters and business owners replace essential belongings and repair property.

    "This tornado destroyed or damaged homes, schools, businesses, and property along a thirty mile stretch," Gov. Cooper said. "As I toured the damage and visited with people that were affected by the storms, I met many people who will need our help to recover from this devastation."

    Teams from local, state and federal emergency management agencies spent the past week surveying storm damage in both counties. In Guilford County, damage assessors found 36 destroyed homes or businesses, 180 with major damage, 289 with minor damage and 316 affected. There was one fatality in Guilford County in connection with the storm. In Rockingham County, there were five destroyed home or businesses, seven with major damage, 21 with minor damage and 19 affected.

    Gov. Cooper declared a state of emergency for both counties Friday in preparation for further state or federal disaster aid. Numerous relief groups are at work helping local residents clear debris and begin repairs to homes.

    Gov. Cooper also spoke with Vice President Michael R. Pence about the storm's impact. Vice President Pence, who toured damage in Greensboro last week, pledged his support as the community works to recover from the storm.

    If the federal declaration is granted, home and business owners in Guilford and Rockingham counties would be eligible to apply for federal low-interest disaster loans or grants through FEMA to help them repair their homes, rebuild their businesses and begin the long recovery process.

    The National Weather Service determined that an EF2 tornado with winds up to 135 miles per hour touched down in east Greensboro just after 5 p.m. Sunday and traveled north into Rockingham County. The storm's damage path is 33.6 miles long and about a quarter mile wide, ending at Ruffin in Rockingham County. Three schools in Greensboro were extensively damaged to the point that they will not reopen this year. As many as 85,000 homes and businesses were without power after the storm, but power crews have now restored most customers.

    To read the Governor's letter, please click HERE.

  • Contact: Ford Porter

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