Irene damages total $25 million in Bertie

Published 9:37 am Monday, September 5, 2011

WINDSOR – Bertie County damages from Hurricane Irene are now estimated near $25 million.

Bertie Interim Emergency Management Coordinator Misty Deanes said crop losses are estimated at more than $23 million in the wake of last week’s natural disaster and damage to structures will be near $1 million.

The hardest hit crop is tobacco, which suffered a 100 percent loss in the county to the tune of $16,835,000. Also hit hard was cotton, which is estimated at a $5.6 million loss with 20 percent of the crop devastated.

Both corn and soybeans are estimated to have been damaged to the tune of approximately half a million dollars. The corn crop is a 50 percent loss and the soybeans are a five percent loss.

Also damaged were peppers ($65,000) and cucumbers ($200,000).

Damage losses include 47 tobacco barns that were destroyed and an additional 5,000-plus chickens that were killed during the storm.

As for structural damage, Bertie County had three structures that were totally destroyed, 14 structures that received major damage and 38 with minor damage. Of that group, 40 were single-family homes, six were mobile homes, four were businesses, four were government buildings and one was an out-building. The damage estimate for those structures was in excess of $600,000.

In addition there is an estimated $250,000 worth of damage to piers, docks, and bulkheads in Bertie County.

While damage estimates are coming in, the Federal Emergency Management Agency officials are in Bertie County working at this time. Deanes said the FEMA Individual Assessment team is in the county speaking to private home owners.

FEMA’s Public Assistance team is meeting with county and municipal officials about losses to public buildings.

“If FEMA decided to set up in the county to offer assistance, we’ll announce it immediately,” Deanes said.

Thus far, 13 counties in North Carolina are receiving FEMA aid, including Pitt and Washington counties.