McDowell County could get federal aid for Hurricane Michael damage

An initial damage assessment revealed Hurricane Michael caused $251,745 in damage to Marion, Old Fort and McDowell County. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday requested federal disaster assistance for 21 North Carolina counties affected by Hurricane Michael, including McDowell.

Four people died when Michael passed through North Carolina in early October. Two of the deaths were in McDowell County, where emergency officials said damage estimates topped $250,00, which is above FEMA's threshold for aid.

An initial damage assessment revealed Hurricane Michael caused $251,745 in damage to Marion, Old Fort and McDowell County. Local officials met with FEMA and North Carolina Emergency Management on Nov. 28. to review storm-related costs and assess damage to infrastructure and facilities. McDowell County's damage exceeded the minimum threshold of $170,085.

"We continue to work on recovery efforts related to Tropical Storm Alberto, Hurricane Florence and now Hurricane Michael," McDowell County Emergency Services director William Kehler said.

Preliminary damage assessments conducted by the state and county governments found statewide damage from Hurricane Michael in excess of $22 million, a news release from the governor's office said.

“Tropical Storm Michael inflicted major damage to North Carolina at a time when it was already devastated by Hurricane Florence,” Cooper said in the release. “Many people are suffering from the effects of Hurricane Michael, and we want to get them the help they deserve.”

The 21 counties included in the request for federal help received 4-9 inches of rain during a 24-hour period. More than 100 people were rescued from flash flooding and eight temporary shelters opened. Power outages affected 860,000 homes and businesses at their peak.

The 21 counties included in the request are Alamance, Brunswick, Caswell, Chatham, Dare, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Granville, Hyde, Iredell, McDowell, Montgomery, Orange, Person, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Vance and Yadkin.

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