State, federal officials to visit Gates County

Published 11:21 am Wednesday, August 31, 2011

GATESVILLE – State and federal officials will visit Gates County on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the number of Gates County homes without power is now down to less than 150.

The county also officially ended its State of Emergency as of 6 a.m. Wednesday.

County officials said they are scheduled to meet Wednesday morning with representatives from North Carolina Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA).

On Tuesday, Gates was added to a list of 34 North Carolina counties designated under an emergency declaration signed by President Obama.

“They will be on site for a preliminary meeting,” said Gates County Emergency Management Director Billy Winn. “They will not be seeing perspective clients on Wednesday.

This meeting is to decide if we qualify for federal assistance.”

The county is currently compiling time and equipment sheets in an effort to document every hour spent on storm preparation as well as response and recovery efforts for Hurricane Irene. The equipment costs are for hours in operation only for saws, pumps, fans, tractors, generators, etc.

Winn said that NCEM and FEMA will return to the county next week to determine eligibility for Public Assistance. As far as storm damage on private property is concerned, Winn said those property owners need to first make contact with their insurance company and have an adjuster check on the property. If the county qualifies for state/federal assistance for IA (Individual Aid), private property owners can then visit with an IA team when and if they arrive in the county.

“If there are residents with significant property damage that you think may not have been captured by damage assessors please have them call us at 357-5569…we will need a name, phone number, and address for the property affected,” Winn stated.

As of Wednesday morning, 147 electrical meters (110 through Roanoke Electric Cooperative and 37 served by Dominion Power) in Gates County were without service. That number stood at a little over 2,300 as of Tuesday.

“Those numbers dropped significantly in just one day,” said Gates County Manager Toby Chappell. “The power companies are making huge progress in restoring electricity to the citizens of our county.”

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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