Gov. Bev Perdue today issued a disaster declaration for Burke and Rutherford counties following the severe weather and tornadoes that struck on the evening of Jan. 11.
“I will make sure that any possible aid is provided to those who suffered damages from the tornadoes and other severe weather,” Perdue said. “It is critical that we help get our fellow North Carolinians back in their homes as soon as possible.”
The declaration allows the governor to make available individual assistance for victims of the storms, typically in the form of grants for housing and other essential needs up to a maximum of $30,400.
Perdue dispatched a letter Friday asking for assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration. That federal agency can provide low-interest loans for homeowners, renters and businesses that suffered damage from the storms.
The storms that rolled across the state that evening caused more than 15 injuries, destroyed 25 homes and damaged dozens of others in the two counties. Both counties declared a local state of emergency the evening of the storms.
On Jan. 13, damage assessment teams from North Carolina Emergency Management and the SBA assisted local officials in both counties in determining the extent of the damage. Those assessments did not meet the threshold for a presidential disaster declaration, but Perdue proceeded with a state declaration and is awaiting action by the SBA.