NC congressional delegation requests expedited approval of Hurricane Florence major disaster declaration

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, North Carolina’s entire Congressional delegation, led by Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, sent a letter to President Trump requesting that the administration swiftly approve Governor Cooper’s request for an expedited Major Disaster Declaration as Hurricane Florence brings historic flooding and destruction to counties across North Carolina.

“The severity of damage and number of areas impacted is rapidly increasing and is forecast to worsen drastically in the coming days,” the members wrote. “Accordingly, we sincerely appreciate your timely consideration of this expedited Major Disaster Declaration request.”

“Although the totality of devastation will continue to unfold, it is imperative that North Carolina has the resources now to begin the recovery process,” the members continued. “We again respectfully request you approve this Major Disaster Declaration consistent with the intended purposes of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Stafford Act to allow our local and state officials, in coordination with federal partners, to begin rebuilding our great state.”

Full text of the letter to the President is below.

September 14, 2018

Dear Mr. President,

As Members of Congress representing the people of North Carolina, we write in support of Governor Cooper’s request for an expedited Major Disaster Declaration for the State of North Carolina under Section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Act for events occurring since September 14, 2018, and which are still occurring.

The expedited Major Disaster Declaration is for both individual assistance and public assistance, including direct federal assistance for counties across North Carolina. Hurricane Florence has only begun to make landfall and has already inflicted tremendous damage across North Carolina’s coastal counties. The severity of damage and number of areas impacted is rapidly increasing and is forecast to worsen drastically in the coming days. Accordingly, we sincerely appreciate your timely consideration of this expedited Major Disaster Declaration request.

Currently 76 counties have declared local states of emergency, 22 counties are under a hurricane warning with an additional 23 counties under tropical storm warnings. Due to evacuations, the state has already opened 131 shelters, housing over 6,900 residents. Additionally, 2,800 National Guardsmen have been activated and numerous search/rescue and high water rescue teams have been deployed. Although the totality of devastation will continue to unfold, it is imperative that North Carolina has the resources now to begin the recovery process. We thank you for granting our advanced emergency declaration request on September 10, 2018, and we commend your administration for its diligence and assistance thus far.

We again respectfully request you approve this Major Disaster Declaration consistent with the intended purposes of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Stafford Act to allow our local and state officials, in coordination with federal partners, to begin rebuilding our great state.

Sincerely,

Richard Burr

Thom Tillis

George Holding

Richard Hudson

Walter B. Jones

David Rouzer

Virginia Foxx

David E. Price

Mark Walker

Alma Adams

G.K. Butterfield

Ted Budd

Mark Meadows

Patrick McHenry

Robert Pittenger