NC Gov. Cooper requests disaster declaration following Hurricane Dorian

North Carolina

OCRACOKE, N.C. (WAVY) – One week after Hurricane Dorian hit parts of North Carolina hard, Governor Roy Cooper officially asked the Trump Administration for help.

The request is for a Major Disaster Declaration from FEMA and the White House, which will hopefully get the federal funding so desperately needed for Ocracoke , Hatteras Island, and the rest of the Outer Banks.

A video from NCDOT reports Dorian’s destruction knocked out a dozen roads that remain closed, including highway 12 on Ocracoke where 1000 feet of major dunes and pavement need to be replaced. The damage from Dorian on Ocracoke remains an estimated $45 million.

Keith Acree with North Carolina Emergency Management traveled to Ocracoke and took pictures.  He told 10 On Your Side, “Pretty much every house was flooded on the first level.  Every home and business was damaged, and many lost their vehicles.”

Many think requesting the FEMA aid has taken too long.  Sarah Tolson is on the island helping family members get back on their feet, “We have had no declaration that has been signed so that FEMA can get in and support these people who are taxpayers and vote.”  

Acree said the FEMA request was sent Friday afternoon. He explained, “This is a typical process and we are trying to move along as quickly as possible. It actually is moving  quicker and faster than the usual process.”

“It’s been a week, and you would think we would have heard from them,” said Ocracoke resident Ellen Gaskill, who complained the FEMA request for federal funding was still not submitted.  “People are dealing with no money. They don’t have jobs. The tourist industry is gone. The fishing industry is ruined and the Fish House is closed.”  

Many on Ocracoke have ripped out everything in their flooded homes, and many have no flood insurance, like Morty Gaskill.  “I don’t know how I am going to fix my house once I get it ripped out, and that is the extend of my frustration right now,” he said.

Read the Governor’s letter requesting the disaster declaration here.

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