Easley tours storm damaged Bertie County

May 13, 2008 5:06:13 PM PDT
Governor Mike Easley is offering aid and assistance to tornado victims along the coast. Tuesday he toured the areas damaged by a F2 twister Sunday night.

Easley viewed the damage in Bertie County by helicopter. It was one of three areas hit hard by Sunday's storm.

"As we toured the damage from the air, we could see it was one of those tornadoes we call 'hopping,'" Easley said. "It touches down and then it's back up again -- 20-25 miles thru the county."

On the ground, he assessed the damage, assuring people who live in Bertie that help is on the way.

"We have individual assistance for those houses that were uninsured," Easley said. "They run up to $28,000."

Thirteen of the 16 homes that were destroyed are uninsured and will be the first to receive the money.

Businesses and churches will also rely on insurance to build.

Luealla Baptist Church, which is more than 100 years old, was damaged in the storm.

The church is covered by insurance and plans to rebuild.

Insurance adjusters surveyed the church's damage and are trying to determine how much it will cost to repair. Meanwhile, the congregation will have to hold services elsewhere Sunday.

Red Cross workers were also in the area informing victims about types of assistance they are eligible for. Victims will also be able to apply for low interest business loans.

"The state can't legally declare it a disaster zone, but we'll look at the numbers to see if we qualify," Easley said. "For all practical purposes, as far as we're concerned, a disaster has hit here. It's a disaster. If you've lost your home, it's a disaster."


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