Catawba County Emergency Management officials have been informed that President Barak Obama has declared that Catawba and five other area counties will be included in a disaster declaration in connection with severe storms on July 27, 2013, that resulted in significant flooding in Catawba County and landslides and mudslides in other area counties.
County officials stress that the Presidential Disaster Declaration does not include FEMA Individual Assistance, which would be available to individuals, as was erroneously reported by some media outlets. The declaration would provide federal funding for eligible local governments, schools, and non-profits which were affected by the flooding and incurred unexpected costs.
“On October 29, 2013, President Obama declared that a major disaster exists in our region and ordered federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides on July 27, 2013,” said Karyn Yaussy, Catawba County’s Emergency Management Coordinator. “Catawba County and all of its eligible cities and towns, as well as some non-profit organizations, schools and colleges have been included in the declaration along with Ashe, Avery, Lincoln, Watauga and Wilkes counties.”
The declaration allows federal funding to be available to the State, eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms and flooding. This will support repair work to repair and rebuild public, government maintained roads, bridges and utilities damaged during the flooding. as well as some other public lands such as parks, government buildings and damage at schools and colleges.
This funding is in addition to the assistance some families and business owners are receiving through the United States Small Business Administration and North Carolina Emergency Management – Individual Assistance program to help them recover from the flooding. Other assistance that has been made available for the flood recovery including aid from the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help pay for road repairs and provide financial assistance for farmers impacted by the summer floods.