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Disaster Recovery Centers open

Federal and state officials have opened offices in two Roanoke-Chowan area counties to assist with the aftermath of destructive floodwaters from three weeks ago.

Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), North Carolina Division of Emergency Management and local agencies will be available to explain assistance programs and to help flood survivors apply for disaster aid.

The Disaster Recovery Centers are located in Windsor at the Bertie County Office on Aging (West School Street) and in Winton at the Hertford County Cooperative Extension Center (West Tryon Street).

Both centers are open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.

Those seeking assistance are asked to register with FEMA prior to visiting a recovery center. Registration is offered either online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling, toll-free, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with speech and hearing disabilities can call, toll-free, 1-800-462-7585. Help in all languages is available.

Once registered, the staff at the recovery center can answer questions about an application for disaster assistance or review information needed for processing.

Recovery specialists can also provide contact information for other programs that may be able to assist.

U.S. Small Business Administration representatives will be at the recovery centers to answer any questions about the SBA low-interest disaster loan program for homeowners, renters, businesses and private non-profit organizations. These loans are to repair or replace real estate and/or personal property damaged by the storm and flooding.

Last week, President Obama signed a federal declaration that signaled out six eastern North Carolina counties as disaster areas. Bertie and Hertford counties were among the six.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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