North Carolina Department of Transportation drone footage Aug. 4 of tornado damage on Morning Road in Bertie County.
The Cooper administration said it is has taken steps to to assist Bertie and surrounding counties in the wake of a tornado that struck while Hurricane Isaias passed through the state on Aug. 4. Meanwhile farther south, officials in Brunswick County, where the storm made landfall in North Carolina are working to apply for federal assistance for Isaias-related damage there.
Gov. Roy Cooper signed and submitted a request Wednesday to the U.S. Small Business Administration to grant a disaster declaration for businesses and residents in the area who suffered losses from the tornado to provide low-interest disaster loans.
“We will aggressively pursue any available assistance for those who suffered losses in the tornado and need help rebuilding or repairing their homes,” Gov. Cooper said in a statement.
The National Weather Service has confirmed that the EF-3 tornado traveled 10 miles from Woodard to Windsor and reached peak wind speeds of 140 to 145 miles per hour. The storm destroyed many homes in the Morning Road area and killed two people. Travel trailers are being prepared this week to provide temporary housing for some Bertie County families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the tornado.
SBA loans provide up to $200,000 to homeowners and up to $2 million to businesses to repair or replace damaged property. Homeowners and renters would also be eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged personal property.
Hurricane Isaias also caused heavy damages in Brunswick County, where the storm made landfall. Damage assessments there are ongoing and decisions will be made soon about requesting state or federal disaster declarations for those communities, according to the state.
Brunswick County Emergency Manager Edward Conrow said that area leaders, state emergency officials, and Federal Emergency Management Agency met twice Wednesday to discuss Isaias-related damage spread between several towns, WECT-TV reported Thursday.
Beach towns have completed and sent to the state initial preliminary damage assessments. Brunswick officials plan on moving to the next step of submitting the proposal to FEMA next week and should learn in September whether federal money will be used to reimburse damage costs.