Thursday, September 19, 2019

State continues support for Ocracoke’s recovery from Hurricane Dorian

Sep 19, 2019

Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Dorian’s storm surge inundated Ocracoke Island, the state of North Carolina continues to provide critical support services to the island.

“Ocracoke took the brunt of Dorian’s wrath, and I’ve directed damage assessment teams to act on an expedited timeline as they continue their efforts,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “We are working to get all possible assistance for the people of Ocracoke and everyone else recovering from Hurricane Dorian. I urge our congressional delegation and federal partners to expedite approval of North Carolina’s request for a federal disaster declaration.”

Since the storm flooded the island on Sept. 6, the state has worked with Hyde County to provide critical response and recovery resources to the island including the following: 

  • A team of emergency managers to support Hyde County officials in coordinating response and recovery efforts 
  • Airlift of food, water and emergency personnel to island
  • Two Urban Search and Rescue task forces that provided the initial search of island, helped evacuate injured and assisted with donations and supply management and other tasks in days following the storm
  • Emergency fuel supplies and repairs to get fuel service available
  • Damage assessment teams to document the need for federal help
  • NC Office of Emergency Medical Services is providing a mobile medical clinic staffed by physician and eight-person medical team
  • Mental health counselors who have made more than 200 contacts
  • Food preparation and feeding by Salvation Army, Baptists on Mission and American Red Cross with more than 1,000 meals served
  • Laundry and shower units from Baptists on Mission
  • National Guard cleared roads and removed boats from roadways
  • Four NC Alcohol Law Enforcement agents assisting Hyde County Sheriff’s Department in addition to other counties sheriff’s deputies 
  • Cleanup and disposal of dead fish and marine life by NC National Guard
  • National Guard personnel and equipment to assist with transportation and donations management
  • 50 portable toilets and 32 handwashing stations
  • Several volunteer groups supported by the state are at work on the island mucking out houses
  • NC Department of Insurance working with insurers to remove flooded vehicles from island
  • Distribution of relief supplies from fire department being managed by local government, with help from volunteer agencies and local volunteers
  • A central receiving and distribution point has been established on the mainland to manage the flow of supplies and donated goods onto the island

Additionally, companies across the state and nation have contributed supplies to residents and recovery workers on the island. The Governor requested a major disaster declaration for Public Assistance from FEMA on September 13th and is awaiting approval. State officials have encouraged North Carolina’s congressional leaders, including Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis to work to expedite approval of this request.

FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides reimbursement to governments for the costs of cleaning up and repairing storm damage to public facilities and infrastructure.

The damage assessment process is continuing on Ocracoke, Hatteras and in mainland counties to determine the full extent of housing damages. FEMA requires a thorough housing damage assessment in all affected areas in order to consider a request for Individual Assistance to homeowners and renters. State damage assessment teams have been directed to work on an expedited timeline to complete damage assessments in each county to move forward with additional federal requests.

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