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Gov. Cooper assesses Irma damage in Cashiers, Highlands

Gov. Roy Cooper got a firsthand look at the damage from Irma in the far western counties Wednesday afternoon. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Gov. Roy Cooper got a firsthand look at the damage from Irma in the far western counties Wednesday afternoon.

The governor came to the fire station in Cashiers to make sure local emergency management workers have everything they need.

He said the coordinated response to Irma by local and state government has been good, and he wanted to come to say thank you. Cooper said he also wanted to assess the damage firsthand with trips to Cashiers and Highlands, both hit hard by high winds. Thousands have been without power since Monday.

Cooper said the state continues to look for ways to help. National Guardsmen are and hand to remove debris from roads, for example.

Highlands Mayor Patrick Taylor wondered if any state money might available.

“We will need state assistance down the road,” Taylor said.

Cooper said, “We'll look to see what available resources that there are. I know that FEMA right now is strained with what is happening in Florida and Texas, and we're concerned about our recovery money from Hurricane Matthew. Obviously, we will be looking for ways to help, particularly with debris removal.”

The governor emphasized Raleigh has its eyes on Western North Carolina, a place that rarely sees remnants of a hurricane. And he said he appreciates the ongoing efforts of local emergency management.

Local and state officials asked residents to be patient as crews work to restore power to the area. Electricity is likely to remain out in many places until Friday.

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