Local FEMA aid nears $800,000

Published 10:31 am Friday, June 10, 2011

In the aftermath of the April 16th tornadoes that left a trail of death and destruction across portions of Bertie and Hertford counties, FEMA has poured nearly $800,000 worth of assistance into the local area.

According to the latest numbers made available on Thursday, $692,320 in grants and other needs has helped Bertie County residents affected by the twisters. Bertie was one of the hardest hit areas of the state, ranking third, on a list of 19 counties, in FEMA dollars received.

To date, 210 applications for FEMA assistance have been accepted from storm victims in Bertie County.

Applications total 61 in Hertford County. There, FEMA has assisted tornado survivors with $91,714 in financial aid.

Statewide, FEMA has accepted over 9,000 registrations and has completed in excess of 5,000 inspections of storm-damaged property.

In individual assistance alone, FEMA has doled out over $6.4 million. Adding in loans from the Small Business Administration, total aid to storm victims in the 19 counties exceeds $14.6 million.

Those who suffered losses as a result of the April 16 tornadoes have 10 days left to apply for disaster help. June 20 is the deadline to register for Federal disaster assistance.

“We want North Carolinians affected by the disaster to call or go online to begin the process before it’s too late,” N.C. Emergency Management Director Doug Hoell said.

The FEMA toll-free registration number is 800-621-FEMA (3362). The TTY number is 800-462-7585 for deaf or hard of hearing callers. Registration is also possible online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by smartphone at m.fema.gov.

“Give us a chance to help you,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Bolch. “Don’t disqualify yourself by not applying by the June 20 deadline.”

If you get an SBA loan application in the mail after you apply with FEMA, be sure to complete and return it to the SBA. Completing the loan application does not commit you to a loan; it is part of the federal financial disaster assistance process.

In addition to Bertie and Hertford, the North Carolina counties under the disaster declaration include Bladen, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Greene, Halifax, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Lee, Onslow, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Tyrell, Wake and Wilson.

For more information about this disaster, go to www.nccrimecontrol.org and click on the red “April Tornadoes” tab. More information is also available at www.fema.gov.