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RALEIGH: The Federal Emergency Management Agency has granted Governor Roy Cooper’s request for a federal disaster declaration for 21 North Carolina counties that were hit hard by Tropical Storm Michael in October. The declaration provides public assistance to these counties, allowing local governments, state agencies, eligible non-profits and houses of worship to be reimbursed for funds spent repairing facilities and infrastructure.

“This is good news for cities, towns and counties that suffered damages from Michael, which came right on the heels of Hurricane Florence,” said Governor Cooper. “Cleaning up from Michael took a lot of local government resources, and this will help communities recover those funds.”

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

Preliminary damage assessments conducted by the state and county governments found damages in excess of $22 million due to Michael, which reached North Carolina on October 11, after making a devastating landfall in the Florida panhandle as a category four hurricane.

Michael caused four deaths in North Carolina and dumped between four and nine inches of rain during a 24-hour period across the declared counties. 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.