North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley has sent a letter to the regional director of the Small Business Administration requesting a disaster declaration for residents and business owners in Dare and Hyde counties who suffered damage from Hurricane Alex last week. If approved, the declaration would make homeowners and business owners eligible for low-interest government loans to make repairs.
“Hurricane Alex caused significant damage and loss to our residents and businesses in Dare and Hyde counties,” said the Governor, who last Friday declared the two counties as disaster areas. “This federal assistance is needed to help the uninsured and those who may have unmet needs, and it would allow state disaster assistance to be made available in terms of aid for temporary housing, home and vehicle repairs and replacement, and personal property loss.”
Easley’s request was made to Michael Allen of the Small Business Administration in Atlanta.
According to data collected by N.C. Division of Emergency Management damage assessment teams, 220 structures sustained minor damages in Alex (up to 40 percent of the structure damaged), 61 had major damage (40 percent to 70 percent damaged), and six were destroyed (more than 70 percent damaged). In Dare, 57 homes, 20 businesses and five government buildings were damaged. In Hyde, 70 homes and 135 businesses, including rental cottages, were damaged.
If the SBA declaration is approved, individuals would also be eligible for financial help under the state disaster assistance program. Under the state disaster assistance program, people would first have to apply for the SBA loan programs.
Those who did not qualify for SBA loans would be eligible to receive state aid in the form of grants for such things as temporary housing and rental assistance, repair or replacement of dwellings, repair or replacement of privately owned vehicles, and replacement of personal property including clothing, tools and equipment.
On Aug. 6, Easley declared Dare and Hyde counties disaster areas to help offset public response costs, debris removal, and repairs to government facilities.
A preliminary damage assessment by the state found an estimated $169,000 in public damages for Hyde County and $598,000 for Dare County.
The state covers 75 percent of eligible costs, and the county pays the remainder.
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