USDA Disaster Declarations Granted for Eighteen Western North Carolina Counties to Support Recovery following Tropical Storm Fred Twelve Primary County and Six Contiguous County Disaster Declarations Make Farm Operators Eligible for Assistance from Farm Service Agency, Including Emergency Loans

Raleigh

United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack has granted North Carolina’s request for a primary county disaster designation for twelve North Carolina counties following excessive rain and flooding from Tropical Storm Fred that occurred from August 15 through August 17, 2021. Six additional counties were also named as contiguous disaster counties. 

“Tropical Storm Fred devastated many Western North Carolina communities and I’m grateful for this additional support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that will help farmers and families get back on their feet,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “We will continue to work to help North Carolinians in impacted areas have the resources they need to recover from this disaster.”

The Department of Agriculture designation makes farm operators in both primary and contiguous counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance including emergency loans from the FSA, provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for emergency loans.
Residents of these counties may apply for FSA emergency loans online and find frequently asked questions at https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/farm-loan-programs/emergency-farm-loans/index.

The disaster declarations cover the primary counties of Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Transylvania and Yancey counties and the contiguous counties of Avery, Burke, Graham, Polk, Rutherford and Swain counties.

The remnants of Tropical Storm Fred dumped several inches of rain across western North Carolina, resulting in devastating flooding and landslides. Six deaths were attributed to the storm that caused record-setting floods along the Pigeon River. The flooding severely impacted many farms, damaging crops and farming infrastructure during harvest time for several crops like tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables.

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