Governor Cooper signs disaster declaration for City of Rocky Mount after July tornado

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has signed a disaster declaration for the City of Rocky Mount after a strong EF3 tornado caused significant damage in July to the northern edge of the city as well as the communities nearby.

The Governor’s Order authorizes state-funded disaster assistance in the form of public assistance grants for debris clearance and emergency protective measures. The Governor also issued a similar declaration for the City of Newton in Catawba County in Western North Carolina for damages from a straight-line wind event in August.

“Communities in Nash and Catawba Counties were hit hard by severe weather this past month and I appreciate state officials working diligently with local leaders to leave no stone unturned in identifying areas eligible for state support,” said Governor Cooper. “These disaster declarations will help these communities recover from the destruction and help them to rebuild stronger,”

Local and state emergency management officials conducted joint preliminary damage assessments and determined that Rocky Mount had more than $10,000 in uninsured disaster-related damages which equaled to or exceeded one percent of its annual operating budget in the storm.

State officials said that the City of Rocky Mount would not qualify for federal assistance based on the preliminary damage assessments.

State officials with Emergency Management and the Department of Public Safety are continuing to work with communities affected by the tornado to determine their eligibility for state aid.

The disaster declaration expires sixty days after its issuance.