(Raleigh, NC) -- Gov. Bev Perdue is requesting financial assistance for residents and business owners in Halifax County who suffered damages from the severe thunderstorms and flooding that stuck last weekend.
"These storms popped up so quickly and dumped nearly a foot of rain in just a few hours. We are working with state and federal officials to ensure that any possible aid is provided to those who suffered damages," Perdue said. "It is critical that we help get our fellow North Carolinians back in their homes as soon as possible."
Perdue late yesterday sent a letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration requesting a disaster declaration for Halifax County. If approved, homeowners, renters and business owners could qualify for low-interest loans or grants to help them recover from last weekend's floods.
While visiting the storm-damaged areas today, Gov. Perdue signed a state disaster declaration. The declaration will enable storm survivors who do not qualify for SBA loans to seek state funds to help them recover.
Local and state emergency management teams began initial damage surveys Monday and met with SBA staff Wednesday to continue damage assessment. Teams looked at approximately 75 homes and businesses in Halifax County, as well as additional damaged properties in Northampton County. They also surveyed damaged roads, bridges and other community infrastructure.
The formal survey is the first step in determining what areas may qualify for state and/or federal funding assistance.
If the federal government approves the governor's request, it clears the way for SBA to provide low-interest loans to storm victims. The SBA is the agency that can provide low interest loans for homeowners, renters and businesses that suffered damage from the storms.
The storms that rolled through the area Aug. 25 flooded dozens of roads and homes in Roanoke Rapids, Gaston, Weldon and other areas in the two counties. The flooding closed a portion of Interstate 95 for several hours, sent more than 50 residents to one of two local shelters and seeped into Halifax Regional Hospital's basement. Halifax County and the Town of Gaston declared local states of emergency Saturday.