McCrory seeks federal aid

Granville among counties hit hard by ice storm
Mar. 27, 2014 @ 06:10 AM

OXFORD — Granville County may be eligible for federal funds to clean up storm damage, if a request by Gov. Pat McCrory for a federal disaster declaration is approved.

On Tuesday, the governor’s office announced McCrory requested the declaration to help nine counties recoup part of the cost of cleanup after the winter storm of March 6 and 7. Ice, sleet, freezing rain and high winds toppled thousands of trees and knocked down power lines in much of central North Carolina.

North Carolina Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency surveyed the damage and determined nine counties suffered enough destruction to warrant federal aid. In addition to Granville County, the team found substantial storm damage in Alamance, Caswell, Davidson, Davie, Guilford, Orange, Person and Randolph counties. They estimated that between 750,000 to 1 million cubic yards of debris needs to be removed from personal and public properties. The total cost to state and local governments could be as high as $26.9 million.

“We had a lot of trees that had limbs broken down and power lines down,” Granville County commissioner Dave Currin said.

The initial effort was to get trees off of the roadway, he said, but even after three weeks cleanup is not complete.

“DOT has a tremendous amount of work to do,” he said.

Doug Logan, director of emergency management for Granville County, was out of town on Wednesday. If the governor’s request is approved, public assistance would be available to help recoup governmental costs, he wrote in an email.

“I am not aware of any Individual Assistance that will be available,” he wrote.

A press release by the North Carolina Department of Transportation advised homeowners to check their insurance policies to see if debris cleanup is covered.

The press release also stated DOT will remove debris in rights-of-way as well as that placed there by property owners, adding a warning not to block travel lanes or drainage. The debris should be cut into five- or six-foot pieces.

Oxford City Manager Randy Hemann said the city suffered broken limbs and downed power lines.

“Clean up costs will be in excess of $80,000,” he said.

An additional cost resulted from running generators during the power outage to keep the city’s pump stations operating.

If the governor’s request is approved, federal money could pay up to 75 percent of the costs to repair the local electric infrastructure and remove tree and limb debris.

 

Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.