21 counties in NC now eligible for assistance for Tropical Storm Michael damages

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Some three months after Tropical Storm Michael caused damage in North Carolina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has declared 21 counties eligible for federal aid.

Michael — which made landfall in the Florida panhandle in October and then made its way north through the Carolinas — caused flooding and wind damage through central North Carolina. The tropical storm, which had been a hurricane when it made landfall in Florida, came just a few weeks after Hurricane Florence ravaged the eastern part of the state with flooding and wind damage.

The designation from FEMA will allow city and county governments, state agencies, some non-profits and religious institutions to be paid back for money used to repair buildings and infrastructure.

“This is good news for cities, towns and counties that suffered damages from Michael, which came right on the heels of Hurricane Florence,” N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper, who requested the designation from FEMA, said in a statement. “Cleaning up from Michael took a lot of local government resources, and this will help communities recover those funds.”

Michael’s damage was felt on the coast, where Brunswick and Dare counties received the disaster declaration, but the majority of the damage was in central North Carolina. According to Cooper’s statement, the other North Carolina counties receiving federal aid are: Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Granville, Hyde, Iredell, McDowell, Montgomery, Orange, Person, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Vance and Yadkin.

State and county governments estimated that damage from Michael cost more than $22 million, the governor’s office said in its release.

The storm caused four deaths in the state, the governor’s office said. The Charlotte Observer previously reported that the storm left nearly half a million people without power in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Organizations can apply for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing and speech impaired.