Cooper says NC will create program to help Dorian victims

North Carolina news

Mos Antenor, 42, drives a bulldozer while clearing the road after Hurricane Dorian Mclean’s Town, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Friday Sept. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Gov. Roy Cooper aims to create a state-funded program to help residents in four North Carolina counties recover from Hurricane Dorian after the federal government declined a request for assistance targeting them.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency this week told Cooper there wasn’t enough damage from last month’s storm to individuals and households in Carteret, Dare, Hyde and New Hanover counties to warrant a federal declaration.

So Cooper wrote on Friday to the U.S. Small Business Administration requesting another kind of declaration for low-interest loans in the four counties and those surrounding them. If it’s approved, Cooper’s office said he would create a grant program to supplement the loans for individuals and businesses.

Governments in 14 counties already are getting FEMA’s help to pay for debris cleanup and infrastructure repairs.

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