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Dangers Remain Even as Some Floodwaters Recede, Governor Cooper Warns Collaboration is Key Amongst Agencies as Recovery Starts for Many

Raleigh

Even as flood waters begin to recede in some areas and some North Carolinians are able to return home, dangers remain in flooded areas and the hard work of recovery is just starting, Governor Roy Cooper warned Sunday. While more roads have reopened allowing some people to return to their communities, travel remains treacherous in portions of southeastern North Carolina.

“Florence continues to bring misery to North Carolina. Overnight and into Sunday morning, crews were still rescuing people who had driven into floodwaters or needed assistance,” Gov. Cooper stated. “Remain careful and cautious in areas impacted by the storm, and stay away from flooded roads and communities. Don’t put yourself in danger.”

Teams conducted about 350 rescues overnight. Since the storm first hit, first responders have reported 5,214 people rescued, as well as another 3,743 people evacuated. Search and Rescue Teams led by NC Emergency Management and the North Carolina National Guard are now shifting their focus to more door-to-door and air search wellness checks on people in flooded areas. 

Thirty-three people have died as a result of the hurricane. The latest death occurred when an 87-year old man who had evacuated to a hotel in Guilford County died Saturday after falling and hitting his head.

FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers Begin to Open

Florence survivors are beginning to take steps to recover from the storm. So far, 74,000 North Carolinas have applied for help from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).

Nearly $14.5 million in Individual Assistance grants from FEMA have been approved with nearly $8.8 million of that already disbursed to survivors. 

“If you suffered damage from Florence, apply for FEMA help immediately,” Governor Cooper urged North Carolinians.

Anyone with a home damaged by Florence in any county is encouraged to begin the FEMA registration process by calling 1-800-621-FEMA to register via telephone or by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov to register online.

NCEM and FEMA are partnering to open Disaster Recovery Centers in hard-hit areas. Disaster Recovery Centers opened in Onslow and Cumberland counties this weekend. Several other centers will open soon in affected areas. 

The centers offer in-person support to individuals and businesses in the counties included in the North Carolina major disaster declaration for Hurricane Florence and the subsequent floods. Recovery specialists from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the state and other organizations will be at the centers to talk about assistance and to help anyone who needs guidance in filing an application.

Disaster Recovery Centers are currently open in:

Onslow County
Next to Don Williamson Nissan
312 Western Blvd.
Jacksonville, NC 28546
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Cumberland County
Cumberland County Social Services Dept.
1225 Ramsey St.
Fayetteville, NC 28301
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
 

Latest Updates
Statewide, approximately 3,000 storm survivors remain in shelters, down from a peak of approximately 20,000. People who may need temporary housing following the storm are encouraged to apply with FEMA.

Power outages in North Carolina are down to around 6,800 from a peak of around 800,000, thanks to ongoing work by utility crews.
Roads Reopening, Under Repair

More than 2,600 NC Department of Transportation employees and more than 200 contractor crews are mobilized to inspect and clear roads. They are using more than 2,200 trucks, frontloaders, motorgraders and backhoes to clear and repair roads. NCDOT has completed about 95 percent of “cut and shove” work to clear trees and other debris from roads. Of the roads and bridges that are accessible, inspectors have assessed at least 85 percent to determine which can reopen and which need repairs.

Road closures have dropped below 500 as of Sunday afternoon, from a high of more than 1,600. Sections of Interstates 40 and 95, as well as 95 sections of primary roads, remain closed and NCDOT is working diligently to reopen them. NCDOT advises motorists not to travel in the following counties because of flooding and washed out roads and bridges: Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, Jones, Lenoir, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland and southeastern Wayne (south of U.S. 70 Business and east of U.S. 117). NCDOT was able this weekend to reopen safe routes to Wilmington. For the latest road conditions, visit drivenc.gov.

 “Remember that some roads and bridges may be dangerous to drive on even once the flood waters fall,” Gov. Cooper warned. “If a road is closed, it’s closed for your safety. Never drive around barricades or move them.”

Donations
The North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund is available for donations to support North Carolina’s response to Hurricane Florence. To donate, visit governor.nc.gov or text FLORENCE to 20222
More Resources

The statewide information line can provide callers with nearby shelter, housing and other storm-related details. Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162, or text FLORENCE to 898211. The information line is staffed around the clock to connect North Carolinians to storm resources. Other resources can be obtained by visiting ncdps.gov/Florence or following NC Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter. 

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