By request of the Governor

County included in hurricane assistance request

BY JOHN HUNTER, News + Record Staff
Posted 12/20/18

Federal aid may be coming to Chatham County in the wake of the two hurricanes which struck North Carolina, if a request by Governor Roy Cooper is approved.

Cooper sent a letter to President …

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By request of the Governor

County included in hurricane assistance request

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Posted

Federal aid may be coming to Chatham County in the wake of the two hurricanes which struck North Carolina, if a request by Governor Roy Cooper is approved.

Cooper sent a letter to President Donald Trump last week seeking federal assistance for 21 North Carolina counties that were affected by Hurricane Michael.

“Tropical Storm Michael inflicted major damage to North Carolina at a time when it was already devastated by Hurricane Florence,” Cooper said in a released statement.

“Many people are suffering from the effects of Hurricane Michael and we want to get them the help they deserve.”

Chatham County was included in the governor’s request. The request for FEMA Public Assistance (PA) was made for eligible work performed by eligible entities located in Chatham County, which may include state and local governments, and certain private nonprofits, according to Chatham County Director of Emergency Management Steve Newton.

“Public Assistance declarations are delineated by county, and if Chatham County is declared it doesn’t necessarily mean that Chatham County Government is seeking assistance as an applicant,” Newton said. “We are not aware of enough individual/business uninsured losses to qualify for an Individual Assistance declaration.”

Chatham County was included in the request for federal Public Assistance because of debris removal and road/bridge work that was reported by the North Carolina Department of Transportation and utility work reported by Randolph Electrical Membership Corporation. The Chatham County government did not report any eligible work as part of the Preliminary Damage Assessment that led to the inclusion of Chatham in the governor’s request for federal assistance.

A total of $260,555 in eligible emergency work and permanent repairs were reported as part of the PDA for eligible entities in Chatham County, Newton said.

“This met the Public Assistance threshold for Chatham County of $240,048.90,” Newton said. “Chatham County Government did not report any eligible emergency work or permanent repairs as part of the PDA. 

“To my knowledge, the only expense Chatham County Government may be reporting is fuel used by generators at critical facilities during the prolonged power outage, and only if it exceeds the $3,200 FEMA PA Project Minimum Threshold,” he added.

Emergency Management has not been alerted to any public entity with unmet needs or significantly damaged structures in the county as a result of Hurricane Michael. The cost of repairs and work reported in the PDA is for work performed by the NCDOT and Randolph EMC in the days following the initial impact of the storm. Those costs may be eligible for assistance under FEMA PA guidelines, Newton said. If those costs are declared for PA, eligible public entities may report additional eligible work that was not captured in the PDA.

The 21 counties included in the request for federal help received between four and nine inches of rain during a 24-hour period. More than 100 people were rescued from flash flooding and eight temporary shelters opened. Power outages affected 860,000 homes and businesses at their peak.

Preliminary damage assessments conducted by the state and county governments found damages in excess of $22 million from Michael, which hit North Carolina in early October after making a devastating landfall in the Florida panhandle. Four people died as a result of the storm.

The other counties included in the request were Alamance, Brunswick, Caswell, Dare, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Granville, Hyde, Iredell, McDowell, Montgomery, Orange, Person, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Vance, and Yadkin. 

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