Disaster aid approved for Northampton

Published 10:48 am Tuesday, November 8, 2016

RALEIGH – With the latest nod of approval from the federal government, residents suffering damage from Hurricane Matthew in all four Roanoke-Chowan area counties are eligible to file for assistance.

On Thursday, Governor Pat McCrory’s request for federal disaster assistance was approved to help individuals and communities in seven additional counties recover from Hurricane Matthew. That new listing includes Northampton County.

Bertie and Gates counties were approved for federal aid in the form of Individual Assistance (IA) less than one week after Matthew caused widespread damage across much of eastern North Carolina. Hertford County victims had to wait for approval, which came last week after repeated efforts from county officials. 

“As we begin to recover from Hurricane Matthew, this assistance will help local governments and families who need it the most,” said Governor McCrory. “I am glad that our federal partners have acted to provide this much needed assistance for those who are beginning to rebuild their lives.”

With the addition of the latest seven counties to the list, 45 counties have now been approved for federal individual and public assistance and two counties have been approved for public assistance only. Nearly $64 million has already been approved for individuals who have been affected by the storm.

The 45 counties currently eligible to apply for individual and public assistance are: Anson, Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chatham, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Gates, Greene, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Martin, Moore, Nash, Northampton, Onslow, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Tyrrell, Wake, Washington, Wayne and Wilson.

Those in any federally declared county, to now include Northampton, wishing to apply for IA are encouraged to register with FEMA as soon as possible, even if you have insurance. FEMA is unable to duplicate insurance payments. However, if you are underinsured, you may still receive help after your insurance claims have been settled.

Eligible storm damage and losses from the hurricane and flooding must have occurred beginning Oct. 4.

It is unknown at this time if FEMA will open an IA office in Northampton County, like they have in neighboring Bertie County. However, Northampton County residents seeking IA can apply at FEMA’s Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), located inside the Bertie County Senior Center at 103 West School Street in Windsor. That DRC is open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Residents of FEMA declared counties for IA who suffered losses and damage as a result of Hurricane Matthew can receive help applying for federal assistance, learn about the types of assistance available, the appeals process and get updates regarding their applications at any of the DRCs currently in operation.

All DRCs are staffed with representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, North Carolina Emergency Management and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

If you have phone and/or internet access, you may register in one of the following ways:

Online at DisasterAssistance.gov;

Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. It is the same number if you use 711 or Video Relay Service;

Call 800-462-7585 if you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and you use a TTY; or

Download the FEMA Mobile App and apply.

Survivors requiring a reasonable accommodation such as American Sign Language interpreting, Braille large print, etc. while visiting a disaster recovery center may call the Helpline number for support. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. Help is available in most languages, and information on the registration process is available in ASL at http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/videos/111546.

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.

email author More by Cal