The North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management has released an updated damage estimate from Hurricane Florence showing that the storm caused nearly $17 billion in damage, up from a previous estimate of $13 billion. The updated figure is based on new data from the North Carolina Department of Insurance and damage estimates may continue to change.
“Six weeks ago, Hurricane Florence’s powerful storm surges, winds and rains brought unprecedented devastation to our state, causing an estimated $17 billion in damage,” Gov. Cooper said. “I’ve spent time since then visiting with families, businesses and local officials in the impacted area and it’s clear that we have to recover smarter and stronger to better withstand future storms.”
The original $13 billion figure was based on estimates and projections. Updated figures will be based on actual inspection data as it becomes available.
Compared to previous storms in North Carolina, damage from Hurricane Florence is historic. Hurricane Matthew caused $4.8 billion in damages and when adjusted for inflation, Hurricane Floyd caused between $7 and $9.4 billion in damages, meaning that Florence has caused more damage than Matthew and Floyd combined.
Recovery efforts remain underway. To date, more than 130,000 people have registered with FEMA for individual assistance and over $108 million in individual assistance has been approved for homeowners and renters. Small Business Administration loans have also been approved for nearly 400 hurricane-affected small businesses.
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 disasterassistance.gov to register online.
Other forms of relief including Disaster Unemployment Assistance, temporary recovery jobs, foreclosure prevention assistance and help for small businesses owners are still available. For more information, call 2-1-1.