Updated estimates show Florence caused $17B in damage across NC


Updated state government damage estimates show that Hurricane Florence caused $17 billion worth of damage across North Carolina, an increase from the previous $13 billion estimate.

According to a release from Gov. Roy Cooper’s office, the new numbers, which were compiled by the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management, are based on new data from the North Carolina Department of Insurance.

The damage estimates could continue to rise.

“Six weeks ago, Hurricane Florence’s powerful storm surges, winds and rains brought unprecedented devastation to our state, causing an estimated $17 billion in damage,” Cooper said in the release. “I’ve spent time since then visiting with families, businesses and local officials in the impacted area and it’s clear that we have to recover smarter and stronger to better withstand future storms.”

The $13 billion estimate originally reported was based on estimates and projections, according to the release. Any new figures will be based on actual inspection data.

Hurricane Matthew caused $4.8 billion in damages in 2016, the governor’s office said. When adjusted for inflation, Hurricane Floyd caused up to $9.4 billion in damages. Florence’s estimates show nearly $3 billion more in damages than Floyd and Matthew combined.

Some areas that were still recovering from Matthew were hit again by Florence. Many other areas across central, southern and eastern North Carolina were impacted by Florence and recovery efforts are still underway.

Florence resulted in at least 39 deaths in North Carolina and at least 50 overall.

According to the governor’s office, more than 130,000 people have registered with FEMA for individual assistance and more than $105 million in individual assistance has been approved for both homeowners and renters.

Nearly 400 hurricane-affected small businesses have been approved for Small Business Administration loans.

Those whose homes were damaged during Florence can contact FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA to register for assistance or visit them online at disasterassistance.gov.

Other forms of relief including Disaster Unemployment Assistance, temporary recovery jobs, foreclosure prevention assistance and help for small businesses owners are still available. For more information, call 2-1-1.

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