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Obama declares N.C. counties disaster areas

President Barrack Obama today declared a major disaster exists in North Carolina and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by Hurricane Irene beginning on Aug. 25 and continuing.
The presidentís action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico and Tyrrell.
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 is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
W. Craig Fugate, administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Michael E. Bolch as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.
FEMA said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are fully completed.
FEMA said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or 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 operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

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