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For Immediate Release
September 10, 2004

Statement on Federal Assistance for North Carolina

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of North Carolina and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by Tropical Storm Frances beginning on September 7, 2004, and continuing.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Transylvania, Watauga, and Yancey.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding also is available to State and eligible local governments in the State of North Carolina at 100 percent of the total eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures for the first 72 hours. Direct Federal assistance is authorized.

Federal funding is available on a cost-share basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Representing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Department of Homeland Security, named Justin DeMello as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

The Agency said that more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated as soon as damage surveys can be completed in the affected area.

The Agency said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will be in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice.



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