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FEMA Denies Individual Assistance Request

One of the dozens of homes that have been demolished in Ocracoke after being flooded out by Hurricane Dorian. Photo: Connie Leinbach/Ocracoke Observer

From an OBX Today report

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied North Carolina’s application to provide assistance to individuals in Dare, Hyde, Carteret and New Hanover counties who suffered losses due to Hurricane Dorian, OBX Today reported Wednesday.

“Based on our review of all the information available, including the results of joint federal, state, and local government Preliminary Damage Assessments it has been determined that the impact to individuals and households from this event is not of such severity and magnitude to warrant the designation of Individual Assistance,” said Jeff Byard, Associate Administrator for FEMA’s Office of Response and Recovery in a letter sent Tuesday to Gov. Roy Cooper.

Byard was nominated by President Trump to become the new administrator of FEMA, but CNN reported last month that the White House was going to withdraw his nomination over a personal issue.

Sixth District state Rep. Bobby Hanig of Currituck County confirmed to OBX Today Wednesday morning that the request had been denied. A copy of the letter began circulating on Facebook late Tuesday.

“I will be working at the state level to find funding to help the folks that are in need,” Hanig said.

The letter said Cooper has 30 days to appeal the ruling with FEMA’s Region IV office in Atlanta.

“This is disappointing news for families who lost everything in Hurricane Dorian and still need help,” said Ford Porter, spokesperson for  Cooper. “The Governor will continue to work with our federal and state partners and North Carolina’s congressional delegation to determine a path forward to deliver assistance to those who need it.”

On Friday, FEMA approved providing reimbursement to local governments for the costs of debris removal, life-saving emergency protective measures and the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged publicly owned facilities. Certain private nonprofit organizations can also be eligible for reimbursement

Local officials expressed concerns early on that FEMA’s damage threshold may not be met from the storm that made landfall on Hatteras Island Sept. 6.

Cooper had requested a federal disaster declaration and FEMA public assistance for 14 North Carolina counties. He later asked FEMA to expand public assistance to 12 additional counties in eastern North Carolina.

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This report was compiled from submitted information.