FEMA Urges Residents to Watch Out When Returning to Homes in Path of Hurricane Matthew

The agency says some still face a serious flooding threat.

FEMA is urging people to be vigilant as they return to areas that were affected by Hurricane Matthew, saying some may still face a serious flooding threat.

Dangers such as debris, downed power lines, and lingering floodwaters could still affect those traveling back home. Potentially record-setting flooding is still possible along the eastern corridor of the Carolinas, but the hurricane has moved away from the East Coast.

"Now is the time to really pay attention and be careful – whether you are still dealing with flooding or are assessing the damage from Matthew," said FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate. "If you explicitly follow the directions from your state, tribal, and local officials and use common sense to avoid dangerous situations, everyone's recovery efforts will move along more quickly and safely."

Pat McCrory, governor of hard-hit North Carolina, announced Oct. 10 that a federal disaster declaration had been made for 31 counties in the state, allowing for more federal assistance to recover from massive flooding caused by the hurricane. "A lot of people are hurting right now in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, and the devastation is beyond words," he said. "This expedited declaration will help provide much-needed and immediate federal assistance to communities impacted by Hurricane Matthew. I want to thank our federal partners for approving this declaration quickly and for their continued assistance."

Counties approved for the disaster declaration include Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Greene, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Lenoir, Nash, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Robeson, Tyrrell, Washington, and Wayne; the declaration also approved 10 counties for individual assistance to help homeowners and renters repair or replace damaged homes: Beaufort, Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Edgecombe, Hoke, Lenoir, Nash, Pitt, and Robeson. And all 100 counties of the state will be eligible for funding to help mitigate future storm damage.

McCrory said local, state, and federal emergency management teams will conduct damage assessments all week while rescue crews continue to search for survivors and utility crews work to restore power, clear debris, and open roads.

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