Pres. Trump approves disaster declaration in North Carolina

Pres. Trump approves disaster declaration in North Carolina
Members of a swift water rescue team check a flooded street caused by the tropical storm Florence in New Bern, N.C., on Saturday Sept. 15, 2018.

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - President Donald Trump has approved a disaster declaration for North Carolina as Florence continues to bring heavy rain and flooding to the state Saturday morning.

The federal funding provides assistance to local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations in Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, and Pender counties.

According to the office of the Press Secretary, assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

On a call with Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles and NC Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, President Trump "assured each elected official that the federal government stood ready and prepared to assist with anything their state and respective communities would need during this natural disaster. "

The President says he has been monitoring hurricane Florence and is receiving updates regarding the impact of this devastating storm on a regular basis.

According to WBTV's news partners at the Charlotte Observer, President Trump is planning to visit areas affected by Hurricane Florence at some point next week. Plans on exact travel times have not yet been finalized.

Florence was downgraded to a Tropical Storm after 4:30 p.m. Friday as massive flooding and high winds continued to create life-threatening conditions in the Carolinas.

At least seven people have been killed by the storm including a mother and infant who died when a tree crashed through their Wilmington home Friday.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance Sunday by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.

According to the White House, the toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

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