The death toll from Hurricane Florence has climbed to 37 in North Carolina, the governor’s office said in a news release.
Gov. Roy Cooper also announced funding plans for several aspects of dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. The storm made landfall Sept. 14 near Wrightsville Beach, essentially parking between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach for about three days, and dumped heavy rainfall on Bladen County causing catastrophic flooding along the Cape Fear, Black and South rivers.
Elizabethtown recorded 35.93 inches of rainfall, the National Weather Service said, an amount higher than any other community in the Carolinas.
Cooper made $4 million in funds available for mosquito control in counties that had significant flooding. The funding is available to Health Departments to conduct mosquito abatement as needed. Bladen is among those counties.
Bradley Kinlaw, director of Bladen County’s Emergency Management Department, expects a FEMA center to be open in the county within the week. Assistance can be obtained by calling toll free 800-621-FEMA before and after that center opens.
Other information on housing, recovery and storm-related details, the governor’s office said, is available by calling 211 or 888-892-1162. Information can also be gained by texting FLORENCE to 898211 or going online to ncdps.gov/Florence.
Donations are being taken through the N.C. Disaster Relief Fund at governor.nc.gov or by texting FLORENCE to 20222.
Cooper said more than 94,000 survivors have been registerd with FEMA and $44 million in federal aid has been approved.
Registration for food assistance has begun in 27 storm-impacted counties through the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as D-SNAP. This is a state-funded program offering a one-time benefit to people not already receiving food and nutrition benefits.
Residents must register by Oct. 6 in person at the Department of Social Services, 208 E. McKay St. inElizabethtown. More information is available by calling 866-719-0141.
The full list of those initial 27 counties approved is Bladen, Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, New Hanover, Moore, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Wayne and Wilson.
The governor’s office said the estimated damage to roads in the state was $100 million.
Along East Elm Street in Bladenboro on Wednesday, residents had begun to discard that which could not be salvaged from their homes. The scene was repeated in other parts of Bladen County as well.
Alan Wooten can be reached at 910-247-9132 or email@example.com. Twitter: @alanwooten19.