Federal Declaration Means Help To N.C. Counties For Storms

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A disaster declaration for 18 North Carolina counties damaged by unusual winter thunderstorms and tornadoes means local governments will get help from Washington to pay for the cleanup.

President Donald Trump has granted Gov. Roy Cooper’s request for a federal disaster declaration stemming from the bad weather in February.

Cooper’s office says the severe storms on Feb. 6 and strong winds the following day caused downed trees, flooding and power outages. Cooper’s office says more than 300 roads were closed or impassable and contributed to one death.

Preliminary estimates set damages in the counties at $16 million. The declaration means state and local governments and certain nonprofits can receive some federal funds to cover repairs and other expenses.

The counties under the declaration are Alexander, Ashe, Cherokee, Cleveland, Graham, Madison, Mitchell, Pender, Perquimans, Polk, Randolph, Rutherford, Stanly, Stokes, Swain, Wayne, Yadkin, and Yancey.